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CHAPTER 1

LIVING WITH
TECTONIC HAZARDS
Risk or Opportunity?

CHECK-IN: Mount Merapi

The biggest eruption of Mount


Merapi in Java, Indonesia
occurred on 5 November
2010.
More than 350 people were
killed and over 300,000
people were forced to leave
their homes.
However, despite several
warnings leading up to the
eruption, some stayed behind
to care for their cattle.
On Java itself, there are 30
volcanoes. Despite this,
people have settled down and
established croplands in areas
prone to natural hazards such
as earthquakes and floods.
What do you think draws
people to these places?

CHECK-IN: Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, in
Italy, is one of the
worlds most
dangerous volcanoes.
Mount Vesuvius has
had 30 major
eruptions ever since it
wiped out the city of
Pompeii in CE 79.
Despite a 27 per cent
prediction of Mount
Vesuvius erupting in
the next 100 years,
about 600,000 people
continue to live near
the volcano, within
the danger zone.
Why do you think this
is so?

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
In this Chapter, you will explore three key questions:

1.Why

are some areas more prone to


tectonic hazards?
2.What

landforms and associated tectonic


phenomena are found at plate boundaries?
3.How

do people prepare for and respond to


earthquakes?

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?

a. What is a natural hazard?


A natural

hazard is a natural event that threatens


human lives and causes damage to property.

a. What is a natural hazard?


Distribution of natural hazards

a. What is a natural hazard?

Types of natural hazards:


Tectonic hazards
Climate-related hazards

Impacts of natural hazards:


Large scale
Small scale

a. What is a natural hazard?


Classify the following types of hazards into
tectonic hazards and climate-related hazards.
Droughts
Earthquakes
Tsunamis
Wildfires
Floods

a. What is a natural hazard?

Examples of natural hazards

Tectonic
hazards

Climaterelated
hazards

Earthquakes

Volcanic eruptions

Tsunamis

Droughts

Floods

Storms

a. What is a natural hazard?

Tectonic hazards are caused by movements in the Earths crust.

Examples:

Earthquakes

Volcanic eruptions

Tsunamis

a. What is a natural hazard?


Name some areas that are more prone to tectonic
hazards.

a. What is a natural hazard?

Do you know the latest

tectonic hazard
that just happened?

Visit: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the
Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?

Think, Pair, Share


How is
a Ferrero Rocher
chocolate
similar to
the internal structure of
the earth?

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?


Core

Composed mostly of iron and nickel


Divided into inner core + outer core
1. Inner core
about 1,200 km thick
solid layer
2. Outer core
about 2,100 km thick
liquid layer

Temperature between 3,000C and 5,000C

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?


Mantle

Mostly solid rock (flows under high temperature and


pressure)

2,900 km thick

Divided into upper mantle + lower mantle


Upper mantle
a

layer of solid rock + asthenosphere

below
rocks

uppermost mantle

close to melting point, easily deformed

Temperature between 800C and 3,000C

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?

Crust

Outermost layer on which we live

Oceanic crust is found beneath oceans

Continental crust is found beneath the


continents

km

Thickness ranges from a few km to more than 70

b. What is the internal structure of the earth?

Lithosphere
= Crust + Uppermost mantle

Makes

up the Earths rigid outer shell


When the rocks in the lithosphere
melt, hot molten rock called magma is
formed.

b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?

Recap through the video at:


http://www.learner.org/interactives/dynamiceart
h/structure.html

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?

c. What is a tectonic plate?

A tectonic plate is made up of the lithosphere (i.e. crust + uppermost


mantle).

The earths crust is broken into several pieces of tectonic plates.

These plates move in relation to one another.

Tectonic plates can be made up of:

oceanic crust

continental crust or

a combination of both

c. What is a tectonic plate?


Oceanic crust vs Continental crust

Oceanic Crust

Continental Crust

Located beneath deep


ocean

Located beneath land


masses and under
shallow seas

Very thin between 5


and 8 km

Very thick between 30


and 60 km

Denser (e.g. basalt)

Less dense (e.g. granite)

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


1.

Convection currents

2.

Slab-pull force

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


1. Convection currents
Convection

currents are movements of heat


within the mantle.
Material in the mantle is heated by the core.
This causes convection currents in the molten
mantle material.
Mantle expands, rises and spreads out beneath
the plates.
Plates are dragged along and move away from
each other.

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


1. Convection currents

Subsequently,

the hot molten mantle cools


slightly and sinks, pulling the plates along
Hence
The

plates move towards each other.

sinking mantle material heats up again as


it nears the core and the whole process repeats.

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


Plates moving away from each other
Ocean floor

tes
Pla ing
v
mo ards
r
tow othe
h
eac

Pl
mo ates
tow vin
ard g
ea
s
oth ch
er

Plates

Tectonic plates float on molten mantle, driven by


heat energy/convection currents

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


2. Slab-pull force

This occurs when an oceanic plate (denser)


subducts under a less dense plate and pulls the
rest of the plate along.

The subducting plate drives the downwardmoving portion of convection currents.

While mantle material away from the


subduction
zone drives the rising portion of
convection
currents.

d. Why do tectonic plates move?

Imagine this
On average, tectonic plates move a
few centimetres a year.
This is about the rate your nail grows.
How long will your nails be if
you dont cut it for a year?

d. Why do tectonic plates move?


Changing positions of the earths
continents
Plate movements have altered the
distribution of the earths land masses
over several hundred million years.

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?

Divergent: where plates move away from each other

Convergent: where plates move towards each other

Transform: where plates move past each other

Within plates, there is also evidence of plate movement in different directions


and fractures. These are known as developing plate boundaries.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
Divergent plate boundaries
1. Oceanic-oceanic plate divergence
2. Continental-continental plate divergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
1. Oceanic-oceanic plate divergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
1. Oceanic-oceanic plate divergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?

Magma rises from the mantle to fill the gap between the plates as they
diverge.

New sea floor is formed when the magma cools and solidifies. This process is
called sea-floor spreading.

Magma rises at the zone of divergence/spreading zone to form a ridge of new


ocean floor called mid-oceanic ridge.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?

The newly formed (youngest) rocks are closest to the middle of the ridge/plate
boundaries.

At various points along the ridge, magma builds up above the ocean to form
volcanic islands.

E.g. the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean cutting
across Iceland, a volcanic island.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
2. Continentalcontinental plate divergence

Can result in the breakup of continents

E.g. Great Rift Valley (East Africa)


a

lowland with steep sides and flat valley floor

formed

by Somalian boundary of the African Plate


moving away from the Nubia plate boundary of the
African Plate

6,000

kilometres long

between
Evidence

30 to 100 kilometres wide

of tectonic activity: active volcanoes and


earthquake fractures found

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?

Can result in the formation of linear sea

E.g. Red Sea and Gulf of Aden near the Great Rift Valley
Elongated/linear
1,900
300

shape

km long

km at its widest stretch

Average

depth of 500 m

Evidence

of tectonic activity formation of new


volcanic island in Red Sea

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
Convergent plate boundaries
1.

Oceanicoceanic plate convergence

2.

Continentaloceanic plate convergence

3.

Continentalcontinental plate convergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
1. Oceanicoceanic plate convergence
When two oceanic plates converge, one subducts
under the other.
A subduction zone forms, creating a deep oceanic
trench.
The subduction of the oceanic plate causes the
solid mantle material to melt and magma is
formed.
The magma rises through the mantle and ocean
floor to emerge as volcanoes.
Eventually a chain or arc of islands called island arc
is formed.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
1. Oceanicoceanic plate convergence
Earthquakes
E.g.

may also occur.

the Pacific Plate converging with the slowermoving Philippine plate

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
1. OceanicOceanic plate convergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
Locate the Indonesia Archipelago and Japan. Explain the
shape and distribution of these islands.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
2. Continental-continental plate
convergence
Plates

made largely of continental crust may


collide with other plates made largely of
continental crust.
However, both plates have similar densities and
hence, resist subduction.
Instead, the plates break, slide along fractures
in the crust and fold, forming fold mountains.
E.g.

the Himalayas - convergence of the Indian


Plate and the Eurasian Plate.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
E.g. the Himalayas
Himalayas

EURASIAN
PLATE
Tibetan
Plateau

INDIAN
PLATE

l crust
a
t
n
e
Contin
t
al crus
t le
t man
s
o
m
r
Uppe
ent
Contin

phere
s
o
n
e
A st h

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
3.Oceanic-continental plate convergence
When

an oceanic plate meets a continental


plate, the denser oceanic plate subducts under
the less dense continental plate.

A subduction

zone forms, creating a deep


oceanic trench along the plate boundary.

The

subduction of the continental plate causes


the soild mantle material to melt and magma is
formed.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
3.Oceanic-continental plate convergence
The

magma rises through the mantle and crust


to emerge as volcanoes on land.

The

edge of thick continental plate buckles to


form fold mountains.

Earthquakes
E.g.

may also occur.

the Australian Plate subducting under a


section of the Eurasian Plate near Sumatra
formed the Sunda Trench.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
3.Oceanic-continental plate convergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
3.Oceanic-continental plate convergence

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
Transform plate boundaries
Plates

slide past each other.


As they do so, tremendous stress builds up.
This stress is eventually released, often as a
violent earthquake.
E.g. San Andreas Fault, United States of America
& North Anatolian Fault, Turkey

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
Transform plate boundaries

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
E.g. San Andreas Fault, United States of
America
In

1906, an earthquake occurred in San


Francisco, southern California between the
Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.

This caused several hundred kilometres of North American Plate


to move an average of 2.5 m,

and at one point almost 7 m all in less than 1 minute.

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
E.g. San Andreas Fault,
USA

e. What are the different types of


plate boundaries?
E.g. North Anatolian Fault, Turkey

How would the plate movement affect


the two cities shown in time to come?

CHAPTER 1 LIVING WITH


TECTONIC HAZARDS
Gateway 1: Why are some area more prone
to tectonic hazards?
a. What is a natural hazard?
b. What is the internal structure of the Earth?
c. What is a tectonic plate?
d. Why do tectonic plates move?
e. What are the different types of plate
boundaries?