Condensed Case Studies Essay

San Francisco Earthquake, 1989

* California is on a conservative plate margin

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* Pacific plate west, north American plate east

* Earthquake – 7.1

* Struck at 5.04 pm, October 17th

* 63 deaths

* 1 million homes without electricity

* Damage estimated at $7 billion

* Interstate 880 collapsed, trapping motorists

* SF and Oakland airport closed – damaged

* Marina district in Bay area extensively damaged, collapsed buildings, fires from ruptured gas mains

Mount St. Helen’s Eruption, 1980

* Washington State, NW USA

* Part of Western Cordillera,

* Destructive plate margin

* Erupted early Sunday morning, May 1980

* Rumbled for 2 months – 5 mile exclusion zone

* Earth tremors triggered landslide

* Pyroclastic flow (rock, gas, steam)

* Ash cloud 12 miles high

* 57 deaths (low because Sunday morning)

* Rivers + lakes filled with mud

* 400m lost from top of volcano

* Logging camps, roads, bridges and houses destroyed

Holderness Coast, the

* NE England

* Retreats 1 or 2 metres per year

* Strong prevailing winds (to west) –> strong longshore drift

* Soft clay cliffs –> easy to erode

* Mappleton, south of Hornsea on cliff top is in danger

* 1991 – rock armour placed at cliff base, and rock groynes on beach

* Longshore drift moving south from Mappleton was stopped –> more erosion south of Mappleton


* Had encouraged large families to increase workforce, but couldn’t be sustained.

* 1975- families restricted to one child- at current rate

* Families with more than one child would lose benefits and be fined

* Forced abortions and sterilisations

* Incentives e.g. child care for one child families

* Birth rate 44 in 1950, 17 in 2000.

* In rural areas large families tradition- children provide labour/ look after elderly

* Compromise- if first child a girl, could have 2 kids

* China will not have enough workers in the future

* Girl babies undervalued, so killed so they can have a boy

Mexico –> USA

* Land degradation leads to many abandoning their rural lifestyles and farms

* 40% of people are unemployed in Mexico

* GNI/capita $8070 Mexico, $31910 USA

* The closeness of the countries –> migration = very easy

* Number of immigrants tightened therefore many (about 3 million) work illegally

* Some entered on visas, but remained when they expired

* Health conditions bad at the border; TB


* Big fences

* Border guards

* Live in unsanitary camp before migration

* Have to pay to migrate

* In the hands of someone else

Merthyr Farm (MEDC)

* Snowdonia National Park

* 160 ha

* 1250- 1500mm rainfall

* Steep hills

* Hill sheep/suckler cow farm

* 3 full time family members

* 2 Tractors, big baler

* Inputs: 20 tonnes NPK fertiliser on grazing land, 6 tonnes NPK on silage

* Subsidies provide half of income

* Quota for 661 ewes and 32 suckler cows

* Outputs of 750 lambs, bullocks, cull ewes, barren cows, 1200-1300kg of wood, 650 big silage bales, 15 mountain rams (�250 each)

* Alternative income from contract sheep shearing, camping facilities, opens to public/schools

Alcan Aluminium Smelter

* Near Blyth, near Newcastle

* Uses lots of electricity* –> Has own power station 0.5km away

* Electricity used to make 1 tonne of aluminium = electricity a family uses in 20 years

* Coal mine adjacent to power station for fuel

* Bauxite is main material, very heavy/bulky, so producers make lighter/more useful alumina before shipping to smelters –> save money

* Weight loss industry

* Alumina comes into port in Blyth, then brought by rail to Alcan

* Aluminium sent by road, and ports

* Provides for industrial and consumer markets

* Given a �28 million grant for redeployment

* Smelter, power station and Ellington Colliery has provided jobs for unemployed ex-coal miners

* Sited on a large area of flat land – easy building

Argos Distribution Centre, Stafford

* M6 and many other main roads such as the A513, A460 and are within about 1 mile of the site.

* 90% of the products transported by road, good transport links

* Large local workforce situated around 3 miles away from the site (Stafford/Penkridge).

* Reasonable amount of space for the centre to be built on and to expand.

* Its market has to be national, made easier because of the good transport links.

* Uses National Grid – cheap

* Materials are manufactured goods

Tourism in Menorca (MEDC)

* Main towns: Ma� and Ciutadella

* Situated in Balearic Islands, in Mediterranean Sea

* Low annual precipitation; 450mm in autumn & spring

* Hot/dry summers

* Avg. summer temp.: 30�C

* Many family-friendly resorts and beaches

* Beautiful parks e.g. Es Freginal Park

* Placa Alfons III with good restaurants and caf�s

* Cycling tracks & good views

* Families in summer

* Nature-lovers in spring

* Employment

* Monetary stability

* The area is developed and regenerated for tourism, and also helps local people

* There is no year-long employment, as there are very few tourists between November and April; paro (money) is given to tourism workers who have no job during winter

Tourism in Kenya (LEDC)

* Main towns/cities: Nairobi, Mombasa

* Situated in Eastern Africa

* Low plains in coastal area, which rise to central highlands, Great Rift Valley. Fertile plateau in the west.

* Mount Kenya 5199m

* Hot and humid at the coast (max. 30�C)

* Temperate inland (max 25�C)

* Sunshine all year round

* Rainy season: April-June

* Beach resorts with fine sand and coral reefs to explore

* Many national parks and game reserves

* A different culture

* Hiking and climbing on Mount Kenya

* Actors and film-makers visit during the dry season to film wildlife for movies

* Families visit, at any time of the year, to go on safaris and enjoy the beaches. Families are most likely during the long school holidays.

* Nairobi/Mombasa airports improved

* Many Kenyans have year long jobs in tourism

* Money invested into country

* High numbers of tourists in reserves puts animals under pressure, so numbers decrease. Leads to fewer tourists, and lower revenue

* Cultures threatened by tourism

* Capital leakage


* In the largest area of limestone quarrying in UK in Derbyshire

* Southern part of park

* A6 within 5km

* Limestone quarried since Roman times for building stone, cement

* Very pure limestone

* Used in agriculture, lime kilns and for lead smelting

* Earth mounds used to reduce noise of explosions and machinery

* Water sprays used to prevent the spread of dust

* Forms large, white scars on the landscape

* Trains are used to transport the limestone, but a lot is transported by Lorries –> congestion (with tourists), noise

* They contribute to air and noise pollution

* Prohibition orders used by local authorities control developments of the quarries


* Jan. 1993

* Shetland Islands

* Engine failure –> Tanker ran aground at Sunburgh Head

* Storm force 10 winds

* Taking oil from Norway to N. America

* Taking accepted but potentially dangerous short cut between southern tip of Shetlands and Fair Isle, 35 km south

* 1000s of gallons of oil released into sea

* Toxic fumes blown inland by wind + deposited oil particles on crops/pasture

* Winds too strong to allow planes to spray dispersants

* Toxic fumes inhaled = nausea + headaches

* Salmon farms damaged –> fish unfit for consumption

* Clean up costs high

* Airport at Sunburgh closed

* Crude oil covered beaches/cliffs

* Thousands of sea birds e.g. fulmar/puffin killed

* Subsequent use of chemical dispersants seemed to have more impact that the oil itself

Peak District National Park

* 1st national park in Britain – 1438km�

* 22 million visitors each year

* People go to walk, for scenery, to go to countryside.

* Bakewell for its market, Dovedale for limestone dale,

* Surrounded by many large cities e.g. Sheffield?

Benefits of tourism

* Employment: Up to 950 workers. Many work in shops/services related to tourism.

* Income: Fields opened for camping, lots of B&Bs.

Tourism keeps local shops going- ‘honeypot’ villages provide lots of jobs, �75 million made each year

* Preservation and conservation: Caudwell’s Mill restored as a visitor attraction

Magpie mine preserved (industrial site)

Redundant farm buildings now accommodation

300 local and traditional events

Problems of tourism

* Congestion of villages and beauty spots; Honeypot areas overcrowded – full car parks, blocked roads

* Erosion of paths and sensitive vegetation

3005 km of public right of way

Heavy use –> major erosion, esp. on moorlands where made worse by loose peat, high rainfall and wind

Heavy wear caused by off road vehicles and mountain bikes

* Danger and disturbance to wildlife

Sandpipers nest on ground –> sensitive to people passing

* Litter – unsightly, causes pollution, damages livestock/wild animals. Broken glass dangerous to people. Cause of fire

* Damage to farmland – trampling crops + grass reduces animals’ winter feed. Left open gates mean livestock escape. Sheep killed by uncontrolled dogs

* Tourist villages – gift shops + cafes for tourists make more money than shops for locals e.g. baker’s, butcher’s. Locals feel they are being pushed out by tourists/ they have more facilities


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