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Tectonic Hazards

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Submitted By hbecks28
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Option 1 – Tectonic Activity and Hazards
What are tectonic hazards and what causes them?
1. Introduction

Tectonic hazards have to be distinguished from tectonic events. Hazards tend to refer to those events or items that pose a threat to humans and their lifestyle. Therefore, a tectonic hazard is one which involves tectonic processes being hazardous to humans. In the first part of my essay I will be explaining exactly what is meant by tectonic processes and will be referring to the relatively new concept of Plate Tectonics which, although being presented as a theory in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, was not actually taken as the standard model until the late 1960’s and even then was being criticized by many learned scholars into the 1980’s. I will then explain what the main types of hazards are in tectonics, namely volcanoes (openings in the earth crust from which material from below the earth’s surface can be ejected) and earthquakes (movement in the earth’s crust that causes shaking of the ground above). However, there are many more hazards that can be associated with these two, namely tsunamis and from volcanoes, pyroclastic flows, lahars and volcanic gases. What causes these hazards should be explained in my explanation of plate tectonics.

Throughout my assignment, I will be using many examples of tectonic hazards from around the globe, but will be focusing on certain case studies to try and explain exactly what causes tectonic hazards. I will be using the San Andreas Fault in the western part of North America as an example of transform plate margins*, the Himalayas as an example of fold mountains created by collision zones of convergent plate margin* between two continental plates, Krakatoa as an example of hazards that can be caused at convergent plate margins where oceanic and continental plates meet and the Mid Atlantic Ridge (including Iceland) as an...

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