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Mount St. Helen's, Washington State, USA
You are going to fill in the Case Study sheet
TASK 1: LOCATION: Where is Mt. St. Helen's?
Locate on Mt St Helen's on google maps. Take a screenshot of the location within the USA, and a zoomed in view of the mountain. Write a written description in to the case study sheet .
TASK 2: BACKGROUND / LEVEL OF DEVELOPMENT
Research development indicators for the USA such as GNI/ capita; literacy rates; infant mortality to get a sense of the level of economic development. Fill in the box.
TASK 3: CAUSES
When - What date/ time/ year did it erupt? When had the last major eruption been?
Causes of the volcanic eruption. Explain what is/ was happening with the tectonic activity at the plate margins.
What type of volcano is it?
TASK 4: IMPACTS/EFFECTS
What happened? Identify the dangers ie pyroclastic flow? Lahar? Lava flow? etc
How many people died/ were injured/ displaced? Homeless?
Immediate effects - Social, Environmental / Physical, and Economic
Secondary effects ?
TAsk 5: PREDICTION/PREPARATION/ PROTECTION:
Were the people given warning? if so what? What methods of prediction and monitoring were used?
Was is effective? Why or why not?
TASK 6: RESPONSE
Immediate/ Emergency response
Long term response
"On the morningn of May 18th, the volcano‐monitoring data‐‐seismic monitoring, rate of bulge movement, sulfur‐dioxide gas emission, and ground temperature‐‐revealed no unusual changes that could be taken as warning signals for the catastrophe that would strike about an hour and a half later. About 20 seconds after 8:32 a.m. PDT, apparently in response to a magnitude 5.1 earthquake about 1 mile beneath the volcano, the bulged, unstable north flank of Mount St. Helens suddenly began to collapse, triggering a rapid and tragic train of events that resulted in widespread devastation and the loss of 57 people, including volcanologist Johnston"
"Meaningful prediction requires careful monitoring of a volcano’s vital signs. Seismometers can be used to pinpoint earthquakes which track the rise of magma and its movement along fissures. Measurements of the tilt of the entire mountain provide additional information about the “breathing” of the volcano as magma moves inside it. Instruments that sniff SO2, CO2 and other gases also can signal changes in the volcano. At some volcanoes the seismic information seems most reliable, at others the tilt tells the story. But the best predictions come from the combination of all of these methods into a volcano monitoring and prediction system."
Week 13 Lesson 3:
Make sure you have finished your case study thoroughly., check your answers for the case study with the answers on the sheet below and add to your answers if you need to - you do not need every bit of information - try to have several examples for each type of impact and response., do the quizlet on mt st helen's case study, 8 mark question practise, why do people live near volcanic hazards, similar to eqs, reasons such as:.
1. They don't know there is a risk of a hazard (lack of education or understanding)
2. They can't afford to leave
3. They have family, cultural, economic ties to the area and don't want to leave
4. They are optimistic and don't think anything bad will happen to them
5. Their fate lies with a higher power
However with Volcanic areas specifically:
1. Geothermal energy can be harnessed by using the steam from underground which has been heated by the Earth's magma. This steam is used to drive turbines in geothermal power stations to produce electricity for domestic and industrial use. Countries such as Iceland and New Zealand use this method of generating electricity.
Volcanoes attract millions of visitors around the world every year. Apart from the volcano itself, hot springs and geysers can also bring in the tourists. This creates many jobs for people in the tourism industry. This includes work in hotels, restaurants and gift shops. Often locals are also employed as tour guides.
3. Mineral availability
Lava from deep within the earth contains minerals which can be mined once the lava has cooled. These include gold, silver, diamonds, copper and zinc, depending on their mineral composition. Often, mining towns develop around volcanoes.
4. Highly Fertile Soil
Volcanic areas often contain some of the most mineral rich soils in the world. This is ideal for farming. Lava and material from pyroclastic flows are weathered to form nutrient rich soil which can be cultivated to produce healthy crops and rich harvests.
NOW, look at stimuli - what do the 3 figures tell us? What do we know in addition to this about social / economic reasons for living in volcanic areas? How can we use the figures as evidence for what we are saying?
This question is about investigating why people live in Sicily despite there being near an active volcano on the island.
Candidates should break down the response into components – in this case the factors identified in Fig. 2, the type of jobs residents may do and how they are related to volcanic land.
Candidates should relate the factors to the map (Fig 1) by identifying the type of activities that take place on the island and linking this to the main economic sector of Sicily. The picture (Fig 3) should also be referred to, to back up points made.
To access level 3, Figures 1, 2 and 3 need to be used
The indicative content below is not prescriptive and candidates are not required to include all of it. Other relevant material not suggested below must also be credited.
Volcanic ash makes land fertile so excellent soil for growing fruit crops including grapes for wine industry
Active volcano is draws in tourists many businesses set up to accommodate visitors
Some local industry grown to create items for tourists - souvenirs, wine etc
Construction is quite high - building to accommodate tourist industry and ensure old buildings are looked after as part of cultural heritage.
Beautiful landscapes and climate to attract visitors
Map - identifying types of farming and tourist activities - reasons for high amount of services
Pie chart - identifying what type of jobs people are doing
Photograph - shows cultural heritage, near volcano, beautiful landscape, Mediterranean climate
- Age: 14-16 MYP Individuals and Societies
- Age: 14-16 GCSE / IGCSE Geography
- Natural Environments
- Economic Development
- IGCSE Geography Revision Question Bank
- 2.1 Earthquakes and volcanoes
- 2.4 Weather
- 2.5 Climate and natural vegetation
- Plate Tectonics
- Plate Boundaries | Plate Margins
- Volcano case study - Mount Etna (2002-2003), Italy
Volcano case study - Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Volcanic hazard management - Mount Rainier, USA
- Earthquake case study - 2005 Kashmir
- Earthquake case study - Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake - 2007
- Why was the Haitian Earthquake so deadly?
- Earthquakes - Managing the hazard
Watch this video clip about Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo - it also makes a mini tourism case study.
Case study task
Use the resources and links that can be found on this page to produce a detailed case study of the 2002 eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. You should use the 'Five W's" subheadings to give your case study structure.
BBC News - Congo volcano 'kills dozens' [18 January 2002]
When did it happen?
Wikipedia - Mount Nyiragongo
Where did it happen?
Why did it happen.
NOVA - Volcano under the City
Who was affected by it happening?
BBC News - Goma: Eruption aftermath [23 January 2002]
BBC News - Goma: One month on [26 February 2002]
You should be able to use the knowledge and understanding you have gained about 2002 eruption of Mount Nyiragongo to answer the following exam-style question:
In many parts of the world, the natural environment presents hazards to people. Choose an example of one of the following: a volcanic eruption, an earthquake, a drought. For a named area, describe the causes of the example which you have chosen and its impacts on the people living there. [7 Marks]
- Comment on Twitter
Earthquakes and volcanoes
Study and revision resources.
1. Plate Tectonics
Structure of the earth.
The earth consists of 4 main layers:
- The crust is the outer layer, broken into sections caled tectonic plates. It is the thinnest layer and the one which we live on.
- The mantle is the thickest layer and consists of molten rock
- The outer core is molten & about 3000 degrees C.
- This inner core is solid due to the immense pressure and is about 5000 degrees C.
- Both the inner & outer core consist of iron & nickle.
The earths crust is broken into different sections which are slowly moving about.
Convection currents in the mantle distribute the heat from the core. This movement drags the plates in different directions and is responsible for earthquakes and volcanoes.
Over millions of years the land masses that we are familiar with have moved around the planet as the tectonic plates shifted about.
Where the different sections of tectonic plate meet the movement causes geographical features such as mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes.
- Convection currents in the mantle drag the plates apart.
- Magma rises to fill the gap and solidifies to form new crust.
- As the process repeats a ridge is formed and this slowly gets wider as the plates continue to seperate.
- Example: the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
- This creates fissure volcanoes which are long cracks, they are less explosive.
- Oceanic & continental plates collide. The oceanic plate is denser and so sinks under the continental plate.
- As the oceanic plate sinks it takes some sand, water and other materia from the sea bed with it. This melts and is gaseous which causes it to force its way up to the surface as a volcano.
- The continental plate crumples at the edge creating fold mountains in addition to the volcanoes.
- Convection currents in the mantle pull two plates of continental crust together.
- Since both crusts are made of the same material and have equal density neither subducts. They crumple up.
- This process creates fold mountains. There are no volcanoes at these boundaries but earthquakes occur.
- Example: the Himalayas.
Types of Volcano
- Shield : gentle sloping, created by basic lava (travels along way before solidifying). Found at constructive boundaries.
- Composite : alternating layers of acid lava & rock/ash create the classic conical shape. Found at destructive boundaries.
- Ash & cinder : Alternating layers of ash & cinder compacted.
- Fissure : volcanoes running along a crack in the crust, usually a constructive boundary.
- Caldera : Crater volcano created after volcano collapses in on itself having emptied the magma chamber.
- Dome : steep sided volcano created by acid lava which cools before it has travelled far.
- Destructive boundary volcanoes are often cone shaped and explosive.
- Constructive boundary volcanoes are often more gently sloped and have less violent erruptions.
Objective: be able to correctly label the key features of volcanoes and relate them to the increased risk they pose to human settlements.
- Volcanoes vary in shape and structure depending on the reason for their existence.
- Secodary vents (fumaroles) occur when magma and gases force their way through weaknesses in the main volcanic structure.
- Lava, ash, cinders and smoke may be ejected from the vent.
- Draw and label a simple diagram of a volcano and the ejected material.
- Make simple sketch diagrams showing fissure, dome and ash-cinder volcanic structures.
- Using Figure 2.0, describe the location of the Pacific Ring of Fire and explain why this area has this name.
Costs & Benefits of Volcanic Environments
- Volcanic eruptions can cause significant damage and loss of life.
- Lava flows destroy vegetation buildings and roads.
- Ash can smother plants, cut out light in the atmosphere, disrupt air travel and cause respiration problems for people.
- Eruptions often cause earthquakes as pressure is released.
- Volcanoes with ice near the peak, or crater lakes can cause devastating mud flows as the water mixes with loose ash.
- Gas released from volcanoes can travel down the slopes silently killing people and animals.
- Volcanoes can bring environmental and socio-economic benefits.
- Fertile soils: ash and lava contain many minerals and nutrients that weather to form fertile soils which can be used very effectively for farming.
- Sulphur deposits: sulphur is mined and sold by the people living close to volcanoes in Indonesia.
- Tourism: the volcanic scenery, crater lakes, hot spring and geysers attract tourists and create many job opportunities.
Case Study: Montserrat
Objective: be able to describe the main events and damage caused by the volcano. You should be able to suggest reasons for the extent of the damage.
Montserrat is an island in the Caribbean that unexpectedly suffered devastating eruptions.
- Using the google map shown to the right, describe the location of Montserrat on a regional scale.
- Draw a sketch map showing the location of the Sufriere Hills volcano within the island.
- Explain the cause of the volcano
- Describe the main effects/impacts of the eruptions
- Why did they cause so much damage on the island?
- Make a sketch of Figure 2.1 to show the hazard map and restricted zones that are in place on Montserrat since the eruption.
- Focus: the exact point at which the earthquake occurred- often deep in the ground.
- Epicentre: the point on the surface of the earth directly above the focus (so it can be located easily on maps).
- Seismic waves: these are the shockwaves that move outwards from the focus. Their energy disipates the further they travel.
- Seismometer: instrument that measures the magnitude of earthquakes.
Risk factors and Earthquakes
Objective: Demonstrate an ability to to identify factors that can affect the scale of a disaster and be able to link them to levels of development.
- Watch Video 2.1.2
- Describe why older building tend to suffer more damage in earthquakes than newer ones.
- Why do buildings built on soft land suffer more than those with foundations on rock?
- Why can hospitals outside towns add to the problems?
- Seismometer: a machine that records vibrations in the earth.
- Seismograph : the print out/graph produced by the seismometer.
- Richter scale : the sale traditionally used to record the magnitude of an earthquake.
- Movement Magnitude Scale: the scale often used currently to record the magnitude of earthquakes (it is more accurate for large earthquakes than the Richter scale.
Case Study: Haiti
Cause & Effect of the Haiti Earthquake
- Understand the cause of the Haiti earthquake.
- Demonstrate an ability to interpret information shown in photographs.
- Demonstrate analytic and reasoning skills in relation to development and disaster impacts.
- Describe the location and cause of the earthquake.
- Go to this page BBC bitesize. Describe the key facts about the damage it caused.
Responses to the Earthquake
- Watch Videos 2.1.3 and 2.1.4
- Go to these links Guardian: Haiti 2015 and Haiti then & now .
- How well has Haiti recovered from the earthquake?
- Describe three reasons why there are still lots of problems in Haiti 5 years on from the earthquake.
Extended Writing Task
Explain why the less developed a country is the more it is likely to suffer if an earthquake occurs. (you should write about a page in your book to answer this. Factors to include: preparation, emergency response, rebuilding/reconstruction.
Cambridge IGCSE Geography Revision
A guide to the Cambridge IGCSE Geography Syllabus for 2020
Other Revision Websites
- IGCSE Biology
- IGCSE Chemistry
Wednesday 20 July 2016
Case study: an earthquake and a volcano, 3 comments:.
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Volcano case studies
Volcano case studies You should make sure you are familiar with 2 case studies: Either: Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo – Poor Country or Montserrat, Caribbean – Poor Country AND Either: Mount St. Helens, USA – Rich Country or Iceland – Rich Country
Key terms: Primary effects: the immediate effects of the eruption, caused directly by it Secondary effects: the after-effects that occur as an indirect effect of the eruption on a longer timescale Immediate responses: how people react as the disaster happens and in the immediate aftermath Long-term responses: later reactions that occur in the weeks, months and years after the event Nyiragongo Picture The video below contains more information on the primary and secondary effects of a volcano
On 17th January 2002 Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was disturbed by the movement of plates along the East African Rift Valley. This led to lava spilling southwards in three streams.
The primary effects – The speed of the lava reached 60kph which is especially fast. The lava flowed across the runway at Goma airport and through the town splitting it in half. The lava destroyed many homes as well as roads and water pipes, set off explosions in fuel stores and powerplants and killed 45 people
The secondary effects – Half a million people fled from Goma into neighbouring Rwanda to escape the lava. They spent the nights sleeping on the streets of Gisenyi. Here, there was no shelter, electricity or clean water as the area could not cope with the influx. Diseases such as cholera were a real risk. People were frightened of going back. However, looting was a problem in Goma and many residents returned within a week in hope of receiving aid.
Responses – In the aftermath of the eruption, water had to be supplied in tankers. Aid agencies, including Christian Aid and Oxfam, were involved in the distribution of food, medicine and blankets.
Montserrat – Poor country case study
Montserrat – Ledc Case Study from donotreply16 Mount St Helens – Rich country case study Picture Mount St. Helens is one of five volcanoes in the Cascade Range in Washington State, USA. The volcano erupted at 8:32am on 18th May 1980.
Effects – An earthquake caused the biggest landslide ever recorded and the sideways blast of pulverised rock, glacier ice and ash wiped out all living things up to 27km north of the volcano. Trees were uprooted and 57 people died.
Immediate responses – helicopters were mobilised to search and rescue those in the vicinity of the catastrophic blast. Rescuing survivors was a priority, followed by emergency treatment in nearby towns. Air conditioning systems were cleaned after by clogged with ash and blocked roads were cleared. Two million masks were ordered to protect peoples lungs.
Long-term responses – Buildings and bridges were rebuilt. Drains had to be cleared to prevent flooding. The forest which was damaged had to be replanted by the forest service. Roads were rebuilt to allow tourists to visit. Mount St. Helens is now a major tourist attraction with many visitor centres.
Iceland – Rich country case study Picture Location: Iceland lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a constructive plate margin separating the Eurasian plate from the North American plate. As the plates move apart magma rises to the surface to form several active volcanoes located in a belt running roughly SW-NE through the centre of Iceland. Eyjafjallajokull (1,666m high) is located beneath an ice cap in southern Iceland 125km south east of the capital Reykjavik
The Eruption: In March 2010, magma broke through the crust beneath Eyjafjallajokull glacier. This was the start of two months of dramatic and powerful eruptions that would have an impact on people across the globe. The eruptions in March were mostly lava eruptions. Whilst they were spectacular and fiery they represented very little threat to local communities, However, on 14th April a new phase began which was much more explosive. Over a period of several days in mid-April violent eruptions belched huge quantities of ash in the atmosphere.
Local impacts and responses: The heavier particles of ash (such as black gritty sand) fell to the ground close to the volcano, forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated (immediate response) from their farms and villages. As day turned to night, rescuers wore face masks to prevent them choking on the dense cloud of ash. These ash falls, which coated agricultural land with a thick layer of ash, were the main primary effects of the eruption. One of the most damaging secondary effects of the eruption was flooding. As the eruption occurred beneath a glacier, a huge amount of meltwater was produced. Vast torrents of water flowed out from under the ice. Sections of embankment that supported the main highway in Southern Iceland were deliberately breached by the authorities to allow floodwaters to pass through to the sea. This action successfully prevented expensive bridges being destroyed. After the eruption, bulldozers were quickly able to rebuild the embankments and within a few weeks the highway was reconstructed.
Local impacts: 800 people evacuated Homes and roads were damaged and services (electricity & water) disrupted Local flood defences had to be constructed Crops were damaged by heavy falls of ash Local water supplies were contaminated with fluoride from the ash
National impacts: Drop in tourist numbers – affected Iceland’s economy as well as local people’s jobs and incomes Road transport was disrupted as roads were washed away by floods Agricultural production was affected as crops were smothered by a thick layer of ash Reconstruction of roads and services was expensive
International impacts: Over 8 days – some 100,000 flights were cancelled 10 million air passengers affected Losses estimated to be £80 million Industrial production halted due to a lack of raw materials Fresh food could not be imported Sporting events such as the Japanese Motorcycle grand prix, Rugby leagues challenge cup and the Boston Marathon were affected
International impacts and responses: The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull became an international event in mid-April 2010 as the cloud of fine ash spread south-eastwards toward the rest of Europe. Concerned about the possible harmful effects of ash on aeroplane jet engines, large sections of European airspace closed down. Passenger and freight traffic throughout much of Europe ground to a halt. The knock-on effects were extensive and were felt across the world. Business people and tourists were stranded unable to travel in to or out of Western Europe. Industrial production was affected as raw materials could be flown in and products could not be exported by air. As far away as Kenya, farm workers lost their jobs or suffered pay cuts as fresh produce such as flowers and bean perished, unable to be flown to European supermarkets. The airline companies and airport operators lost huge amounts of money. Some people felt that the closures were an over-reaction and that aeroplanes could fly safely through low concentrations of ash. However, a scientific review conducted after the eruption concluded that under the circumstances it had been right to close the airspace. Further research will be carried out as a long-term response to find better ways of monitoring ash concentrations and improving forecast methods.
Case Study Hub | Samples, Examples and Writing Tips
Case study on volcanoes, volcanoes case study:.
Volcano is a geological phenomenon, characterized with the opening in the surface of the planet through which magma comes from the inner side of the planet in the form of lava, volcanic stones and gases. Volcano is considered to be a serious natural disaster, which causes death to everything alive and enormous damage to the buildings and surface of the land. Since time immemorial volcanoes frightened people of all ages and were the reason of deaths and catastrophes.
We can write a Custom Case Study on Volcanoes for you!
The most well-known historical fact connected with volcano eruption is the eruption in Pompeii. The eruption of the volcano of Mount Vesuvius caused thousands of deaths of people and destroyed the whole town Pompeii, which became a symbol of the effect of volcanic eruptions.
Volcanoes are classified into several types: active, inactive and extinct. Active volcanoes are those, which erupt in our times, so that we can see this process now. Inactive volcanoes have been active some time before, but there is a possibility that they will erupt in any moment.
Vesuvius was considered a sleeping or inactive volcano but suddenly destroyed the whole town. Finally, extinct volcanoes are believed like the dead ones or volcanoes which will never erupt any more. Volcanic eruption causes not only damage with lava but volcanic dust which fills the air during the eruption can cause troubles and air catastrophes, so all the flights before and after eruption are cancelled.
It is quite difficult to predict the volcanic eruption, but geologists have got reliable equipment, which predicts eruption without mistakes. Years ago the best way to predict earthquakes and volcanic eruptions was to observe the behavior of the domestic animals. For example, cats, dogs and cattle feel these natural disasters several days earlier and give the chance to escape in time. When one is asked to complete a good case study, he has to research the general information about volcanoes in order to realize the mechanism of their activity and their cause and effect sides. One can spend much time to investigate the problem profoundly and even more time to research the suggested case for the analysis. A well-investigated case is the key to success of the whole paper, so one should read encyclopedias and periodicals to collect data about the case and draw smart conclusions after the analysis.
Very often the best way to find information about the case and the way of its analysis is a free case study on volcanoes in Iceland. Most papers in the Internet are prepared by the professional writers who have devoted much time to give students the idea of proper paper writing. If you read free sample case studies on volcanoes in the web, you will manage to compose and format the best paper of this type.
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Volcanoes Main Menu
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What is a volcano?
Where are volcanoes located?
What is the Ring of Fire?
What are active, dormant and extinct volcanoes?
What are the main features of a volcano?
What are the different types of volcano?
What are lahars and pyroclastic flows?
What is a supervolcano?
Why do people live close to volcanoes?
Can the risks of volcanic eruptions be reduced?
The 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens
The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo
The 2000 eruption of Popocatepetl
The 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi
The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallojokull
Anak Krakatau & Sunda Strait Tsunami Indonesia Case Study 2018
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