Hazardous Environments

A hazard is defined as an event that threatens, or actually causes damage and destruction to people, their property and settlements. A natural hazard is one produced by environmental process and involves events such as storms, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

So it is important to remember these aspects of a hazard:

  • Distribution – where do they occur on the earth’s surface?
  • Frequency – do they occur regularly?
  • Scale – do the events vary in their hazardousness?
  • Predicting – Another part of hazards is predicting.


When volcanoes erupt they can devastate the nearby towns or cities with pyro-plastic flows and ash clouds.


When tsunami happens there is a sudden surge of water that moves from the sea onto land devastating building, take cars and killing many.


When earthquakes happen the ground shakes violently and ruptures buildings and kills a lot of people.


Tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons are where hot air and cold area met and hot air rises a spire effect occurs and a cyclone is started the effect of this is the most devastating of them all they can reach wind speeds of up to 300 mph and everything is ripped to shreds and pulled up.

The Topics and Sub-topics for Hazardous Environments are as follows:

Plate Tectonics

Earth Structure


Convection Currents

Plate Boundaries

Plate Boundaries (Fault Lines)

Types of Boundaries







Measuring Earthquakes

The Richter Scale

The Mercalli Scale

Focus and Epicentre

Preparation for an Earthquake

Mitigation (or adjustment)

Risk Assessment


Preparation (adjustment)

Earthquake Event


Japan, Kobe (MEDC) Earthquake Case Study

Iceland (LEDC) Earthquake Case Study


The Global Distribution of Earthquakes

Features of a Volcano


An Eruption

Ash, steam and gas

Volcanic bombs

Lava Flow

Pyroclastic Flows


Ash Clouds

Lava or Volcanic Bombs (tephra)

Poisonous Gases

Types of Volcano

Shield Volcanoes

Composite Volcanoes

Cinder Volcanoes

Predicting a Volcanic Eruption

Why Live Near a Volcano

Mount St. Helen’s – Washington (MEDC) Case Study

Mount Pinatubo (MEDC) Case Study

Mount Krakatoa – Indonesia (LEDC) Case Study


The Great Wave Of Kanagawa

Global Distribution of Tsunamis

Destructive Powers of a Tsunami

Tsunami Description

Japan (MEDC) Case Study

India (LEDC) Case Study

Tropical Cyclones (Hurricanes)/Typhoons

Global Distribution of Tropical Cyclones/Hurricane


Anatomy of a Hurricane in the Northern Hemisphere

Formation of Tropically Cyclones/Hurricanes

Saffir-Simpson Scale

Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans (MEDC) Case Study

Hurricane Mitch – Central America (LEDC) Case Study


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