Physical Geography A

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Table of Contents

The Restless Earth 4

The Structure of Planet Earth 4

The Plates 4

Destructive Plate Boundaries 4

Constructive Plate Boundaries 5

Conservative Plate Boundaries 5

Volcanoes 6

Monitoring and predicting volcanoes 8

Deep-Ocean Trenches 9

Earthquakes 9

The need to predict, protect and prepare 10


Earthquake in a rich region (MEDC) 11

Kobe, Japan 1995 11

Earthquake in poor region (LEDC) 12

Haiti January 2010 12


Tsunami 13

South-East Asian earthquake and tsunami Dec 04 13

CASE STUDY: The restless earth 14

Fold Mountains 14

Case study 16

Volcanic Eruption 16

Mt St Helens 16

The Restless Earth

The Structure of Planet Earth

The Earth is made up of three layers;

  • The Core

This is the centre of the Earth, and the hottest of all

three layers. It can be broken down into the inner

core and the outer core.

  • The Mantle

This is the semi-liquid layer which surrounds the crust. It is extremely hot as it is heated by the Core, which causes Convection Currents.

  • The Crust

This is the outer layer of the Earth, and also the thinnest layer. The crust is divided into segments, known as plates. These segments (or plates) are able to float on top of the mantle and as a result of this, they are constantly moving.

The Plates

There are two types of plates; Oceanic Plates and Continental Plates. The Oceanic Plates carry the Earth’s oceans and the Continental Plates carry the earth’s continents. The movement of these plates is known as Continental drift. The point at which one plate meets another is called a plate margin or plate boundary. There are three different types of plate margins. And for each type of plate margin unique landforms or features are formed.

Destructive Plate Boundaries

This is when two plates come together or collide. When two plates collide this destroys the earth’s crust. The oceanic plate is thinner and denser than the continental plate; therefore it is forced underneath the con...

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