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January 2011 - Plate Tectonics

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January 2011 Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards (25 marks) a) The Philippines are located on the Philippine plate which is largely involved in the tectonic activity of the Pacific Ring of fire where you can find volcanoes and earthquakes which are two primary tectonic hazards, this is due to its location and the fact that numerous trenches are a strong piece of evidence to the presence of the sub-duction of tectonic plates. This makes me think that there is a strong degree to which this area of the Philippines is subject to tectonic hazards. Another piece of evidence supporting a strong chance of tectonic activity is the sheer volume of active faults on the islands compared to the actual land area of the countries, these are were the land has sustained damage over the years of plate movement and the rocks beneath are trapped against each other and creating tension that can be released to create an earthquake of a strong magnitude. Also visible from the image is the location of 5 volcanoes nad if these were to become active most of the countries in the Philippines would be in serious danger from tectonic hazards both primary and secondary like volcanic bombs or lahars.

b) Hot spots are points where convection plumes are focusing on a single point beneath the crust as hot magma rises from the super-heated mesosphere into the asthenosphere where it cools and then proceeds to sink back down again. As this magma rises it carries radioactive elements with it and these elements start to eat through the crust and eventually create a vent to the surface which can be on land or below the ocean. Currently on earth ther is one well known hot spot in the Pacific Ocean and this is responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian Island Archipelagos which are all volcanic islands. The magma that rises through the crust is basaltic and forms shield volcanoes due to the...

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