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Knowledge Of Plate Tectonics Does Not Just Help in Understanding Many Geographical Processes Essay Sample

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  • Pages: 3
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Introduction of TOPIC

In order to manage anything successfully you need to have some sort of basic knowledge about what you are managing, otherwise you may be doing more harm than good because something seems the right thing to do without any basis in fact or visual evidence. If you know why something happens it will be easier to predict future plate tectonic movement by looking for the signs of an approaching earthquake or volcanic eruption and so minimizing the danger by taking the actions necessary because so far it is impossible to stop them and if it were the earth would not be able to release its underground pressure and shake itself apart so prevention is not an option.

The only other option is to look for the early warning signs s, for volcanoes these are small earthquakes that signal that magma is rising that’s causes cracks in the earths crust and volcanic gases such as sulphur are released from vents and from the crater. To monitor these changes in the volcano, seismometers are used to detect any movement of the earth, thermal imaging can observe temperatures around the volcano and report any rise over normal, gas samples are taken and chemical sensors are used to measure sulphur levels, if they are higher then an eruption is probable.

Earthquakes however are more difficult to predict and methods are not totally reliable but they do help, earthquakes are caused by plates moving and shaking the ground. Lasers are used to detect the movement of plates while a seismometer can detect any irregular activity in the vibrations in the ground. When an earthquake is immanent, as with volcanoes, gas can be released but rather than s

ulphur it is mostly argon gas which can be detected in the same way as sulphur, an increase in argon

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gas indicates an earthquake.

In order to prepare for earthquakes, people living in earthquake zones need to be educated about them and know what to do in an emergency such as standing under doorways or having emergency tools, which can be hard in the LEDW as the information may not be readily available in the rural areas and buildings in the urban areas may not be built to withstand them as doing so would be too expensive but they can still have supplies of food and other such items to survive if they are involved in an earthquake.

Volcanoes are harder to prepare for as they can cause more damage, which cannot be avoided by standing under a doorframe. Houses are not easily be reinforced to withstand a volcanic eruption, they can be strengthened to endure the vibrations caused by the eruption but not usually against lava flows as not many things can stand the high temperatures and even if they could the house would be buried under rapidly cooling molten rock so the best thing to do if you see a lave flow heading to your home is to pack as much as you can and evacuate the area.

To prepare for a volcanic eruption can involve making zones of risk around the volcano where are most likely to suffer the worst of the damage and evacuate as many people in these zones as possible which is what happened before the major eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980. In order for this to succeed, good communication systems need to be in place.

LEDCs often suffer more damage and longer lasting effects from the effects of volcanoes and earthquakes than More Economically Developed Countries, because LEDCs have weaker communication systems, lower standards and requirements of building which causes higher death tolls, with limited funds to deal with evacuation before the disaster, or to deal with the consequences of the emergency.

The Poor communications of the LEDW means that people are uninformed about possible hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or any long-term repercussions resulting from them which increases the damage that is done resulting from poor management and an unprepared population.

In the MEDW more precautions can be taken against these hazards because the population generally has more understanding of them so can properly prepare themselves and protect others to minimise damage of property and limit loss of life.

In conclusion I totally agree with the statement because you cannot manage tectonic hazards without understanding them otherwise you would cause a lot of damage by improperly managing and also waste a lot of money that could have been used properly by people who understood what they were managing.

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