AQA Geography Natural Hazards 1.1 (Unit One/Paper One)

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AQA Geography Unit One (Also known as Section A – ‘The Challenge of Natural Hazards’)

Natural Hazards 1.1

A Natural Hazard is a sudden severe event that makes the natural environment difficult to manage. Natural hazards disrupt human life and have huge economic and social impacts.

Natural Hazards fall into three main groups:

Atmospheric:

-Droughts, – a period of abnormally low rainfall which leads to a shortage of water.

-Tornadoes, – a funnel-shaped mobile destructive swirling natural hazard of violent rotating winds.

-Lightning, – a natural electrical discharge of short duration and high voltage.

-Heatwaves, – a period of abnormally hot weather.

-Blizzards, – a severe snowstorm with high winds.

-Wildfires, – a large destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland.

-Storms, – a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.

-Mudflows, – an avalanche of mud.

-Ash clouds, – a large cloud of smoke and debris (ash, gases, dust rock) that forms over a volcano after it erupts.

-Hurricane, – a storm with a violent wind (can only form with temperatures above 27 degrees)

Geological:

-Tsunamis, – A long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or another natural hazard.

-Earthquakes, – a sudden, violent period of ground-shaking which occur at plate margins.

Volcanic Eruptions, – a sudden occurrence of violent discharge of steam and volcanic material.

-Landslides, – the collapse of a mass of earth or rock from a mountain or cliff.

Sink holes, – a cavity (hole) in the ground caused by water erosion.

-Avalanches, – a mass of snow, ice and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside.

-Ash clouds, – a large cloud of smoke and debris (ash, gases, dust rock) that forms over a volcano after it erupts.

-Mudflows, an avalanche of mud.

Flooding:

-Glacial Bursts, the release of meltwater from an ice-dam glacial lake.

-Storm Surges, the rising of the sea as a result of wind and atmospheric pressure changes due to a storm.

-Storms, a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.

-Mudflows, – an avalanche of mud.

-Avalanches, – a mass of snow, ice and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside.

-Tsunamis, – A long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or another natural hazard.

A Hazard Risk is the chance of being affected by a natural hazard. For example, people living near the sea are at risk of flooding caused by tropical storms or tsunami.

People live in risky areas because they choose to accept the risk after debating the advantages and disadvantages and they may have little choice on where to live.

What factors that affect risk?

As the population grow, more and more people are exposed to natural hazards.

Urbanisation,Densely-populated urban areas concentrate those at risk.

Poverty, – expense of housing leads to building on risk ground.

Farming, – the attraction of nutrient-rich floodplains puts people at risk.

Climate change, – global warming raises sea levels and generates more extreme weather.

 

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