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    The more recent you are, the more impressed the examiner will be! here is a thread where we can search and share case studies!

    please add any information on any topics you feel will benefit your studies!

    for example:

    Tectonics 15th may 2013

    An earthquake 2.8 mw2 was recorded in Wester Ross, Scotland. the epicenter being located near Gairlock.

    cause - could be the reactivation of an old fault line. (does not specifically relate to tectonic movement)

    "Local resident Roy MacIntyre told BBC Radio Scotland that he had felt the walls of his house shudder as if a large bus had passed by outside."

    "Also on Wednesday, a 1.4 mag quake was felt south of Cannich in Strathglass at 07:43. A 1.3 mag earthquake was felt near Torridon in Wester Ross on 9 May."

    no recorded threat to the society, economy or the environment.
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    For local conflicts

    HS2 rail benefits to economy 'unclear', says National Audit Office

    The economic benefits of the HS2 high-speed rail project are unclear, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

    In a report, the NAO said it had "reservations" about how the planned high-speed rail link would deliver growth and jobs.

    It added that the project had an estimated £3.3bn funding gap.

    Labour described the report as "worrying", but Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin rejected the report, saying the case for HS2 was "clear".

    The NAO said the Department of Transport (DfT) had "poorly articulated" its case that the rail network needed transformation and that the High Speed 2 project would generate regional economic growth.
    It said the department had emphasised that HS2 would provide faster and more reliable journeys, but said the link between this and the strategic reasons for doing the project in first place, such as rebalancing regional economies, was not clear.

    The NAO also estimates a £3.3bn funding gap for the controversial project which "the government has yet to decide how to fill".

    Rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22543860
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    For Tectonics. The examiners like recent earthquakes

    Strong earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea-from 17th April 2013

    A strong earthquake has struck Papua New Guinea's northern coast, causing residents who feared a tsunami to seek higher ground.

    The quake, which the US Geological Survey says had a 6.8 magnitude, reportedly lasted for three minutes.
    No tsunami warning has been issued and there were also no reports of serious damage or injuries.
    It struck at about 08:55 local time (22:55 GMT Tuesday), with an epicentre 19km (11 miles) east of Aitape town.
    The coastal town of Aitape was devastated in 1998 when a huge earthquake triggered a tsunami that left more than 2,000 people dead.

    No tsunami warning was issued, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a quake this strong could sometimes generate local tsunami waves within 100km of the epicentre.

    "Authorities in the region should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action," it said.
    An eyewitness told ABC News that many people sought higher ground after the earthquake struck.
    "They were frightened maybe the sea will come up," Max Kamave said.
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    Another one for tectonics

    Philippine volcano Mount Mayon in deadly eruption

    A volcano has erupted in the Philippines, killing four German climbers and their guide.

    Mount Mayon, 330km (206 miles) south-east of the capital Manila, sent a cloud of ash and rocks into the sky early on Tuesday.
    The ash blast caught a group climbing the mountain, which is famous for its near-perfect cone.

    At least seven other climbers were hurt in the eruption, which lasted for just over a minute.

    "Five killed and seven are injured, that is the latest report," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief Eduardo del Rosario said.

    Four of those killed were German nationals and the fifth was their Filipino guide, the NDRRMC said later in a statement.

    A guide on the mountain told a local television station by telephone that those who died were hit by the rocks that rained down on them after the ash blast.

    Twenty people were approaching the summit of the mountain when the eruption occurred.

    "It was so sudden that many of us panicked," Jun Marana, a local resident, told AFP news agency. "When we stepped out we saw this huge column against the blue sky."

    In an advisory, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology called the eruption a "small phreatic event" that lasted about 73 seconds and sent ash 500m into the air. No intensification of volcanic activity was observed, it said, and the alert level would not be raised.
    But it said small steam and ash ejections could occur with little or no warning and advised against entry to the 6-km (4-mile) radius Permanent Danger Zone around the volcano.
    Chief state seismologist Renato Solidum described the eruption as a "stream driven explosion", a "normal process" in any volcano. There was no need for local residents around the mountain to evacuate, he said.
    Mt Mayon has erupted at least 48 times since records began. The most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns.
    The most recent eruption was in late 2009, when tens of thousands of local residents were forced to evacuate as the volcano rumbled back to life.

    from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22430378
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    Fragile environments and ecosystems:

    deep water horizon

    Implications of the 2010 oil spill (gulf of mexico).


    Coral Reefs – Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine species, they are called the tropical rain forests of the sea. However, the tiny colonial animals that build these intricate limestone masses are dying at alarming rates. Scientists in the early 2000 declared that if this trend continued, in 20 years the living corals on many of the world’s reefs will be dead and the ecosystems that depend on them severely damaged. I was wondering whether we had coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and as per the US Geological survey there are at least 2 substantial reefs in the gulf Flower garden banks and the Florida reef tract

    1. Studies have shown that the dispersants and dispersed oil droplets are significantly more toxic to the coral than the crude oil itself, the scientists report. The dispersants caused “significant harm,” including rapid, widespread death and delay in growth rates, to the coral colonies. Read more about it in detail here
    2. Microbes in the water can break down oil. The number of microbes that grow in response to the more concentrated BP spill could tip that system out of balance, says LSU oceanographer Mark Benfield. Too many microbes in the sea could suck oxygen from the water, creating an uninhabitable hypoxic area, or “dead zone.”
    3. Birds and animals that live on the shore. Check out the link for the list of endangered species which calls the Gulf of Mexico and its shores their home. The plants on the shores will all be dead if oil reaches the shore and seeps into the soil. The nesting grounds of thousands of birds and amphibians. Louisiana’s state bird the Brown Pelican is threatened too as it’s nesting areas and food has been contaminated after having made a comeback in the last couple of years after the hurricanes Katrina and Rita wreaked havoc on their environment.


    Ocean dwellers – The birds and the turtles we see, we also see the shores and the plants being affected, but 5000 feet deep under the ocean lies a world away from our eyes inhabited by sperm whales and planktons. From the planktons to fishes and mammals the variety of life in the ocean is very diverse. If one of them is affected by the oil it can affect the whole food chain. Schools of Minnows are already seen swimming just below the oil in many places, scientists are pretty sure they are doomed. Birds which prey on those fish too are susceptible to the toxins from the fishes. An e.g.: for a fish would be the Small-tooth saw fish used to have a wide habitat but are now concentrated off Florida’s southwest coast. ”Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that,” said Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist
    One main story which could become the poster boy sort of for The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Environmental impact is the Giant Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna which has been over-fished for years and the spill added to its woes. The Gulf of Mexico is where the Blue Fin comes to spawn; nurseries of the beautiful fish call the gulf its home. It is in dire need of help, Imagine a fish with a reproductive strategy where it has to grow from a tiny egg to a 225 lb fish, and than once mature, it goes to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico for 4-6 weeks. If that’s your evolutionary strategy for reproduction, you’d better hope that your spawning ground is just like you left it the year before- warm and clean. The rest of the year the giant Blue fin swims the entire North Atlantic ranging from frigid seas off the Maritimes of Canada to Iceland, from the Azores to the shores of North Carolina. Read morehere .The spawning grounds of many of these marine organisms are now being drenched in oil, the effects of which won’t be known for some time.
    One main story which could become the poster boy sort of for The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Environmental impact is the Giant Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna which has been over-fished for years and the spill added to its woes. The Gulf of Mexico is where the Blue Fin comes to spawn; nurseries of the beautiful fish call the gulf its home. It is in dire need of help, Imagine a fish with a reproductive strategy where it has to grow from a tiny egg to a 225 lb fish, and than once mature, it goes to spawn in the Gulf of Mexico for 4-6 weeks. If that’s your evolutionary strategy for reproduction, you’d better hope that your spawning ground is just like you left it the year before- warm and clean. The rest of the year the giant Blue fin swims the entire North Atlantic ranging from frigid seas off the Maritimes of Canada to Iceland, from the Azores to the shores of North Carolina. Read morehere .The spawning grounds of many of these marine organisms are now being drenched in oil, the effects of which won’t be known for some time.
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    Lasting scars three years on from BP oil disaster

    For ecosystems and fragile environments.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22213357
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    For weather and climate, Cyclone Mahasen that struck bangladesh yesterday
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    Again for tectonics, a good one to use is the creation of the new tectonic plate off the coast of Indonesia

    Earthquakes suggest new tectonic plate is forming

    (CBS News) A new study suggests that two recent earthquakes may indicate a literal seismic shift in our understanding of tectonic plate movements.


    Massive earthquakes under the Indian Ocean that took place last spring are the largest of their kind ever recorded. The 8.7 magnitude quake, followed by a 8.2 magnitude aftershock, could signal the formation of a new plate boundary under the Earth.
    While not the largest earthquakes ever recorded, the two quakes are notable for their unusual location. The majority of earthquakes are known as thrust faults: massive sheets of rock sliding over or under another block along a fault line. The two earthquakes recorded in April were strike-slip faults, where one block of rock slides alongside another. The April quakes, which took place off the coast of Indonesia, are the largest slip-strike faults ever observed.


    Additionally, the two earthquakes took place within a plate, rather than on its edge. According to a study published in the journal Nature, the quakes were part of the breakup of the Indian and Australian subplates under the Indian Ocean. The study also increased the magnitude of the initial earthquake to 8.7 - a significant increase in power as the Richter scale which is used to gauge the magnitude of earthquakes increases logarithmically rather than linearly.


    Researchers believe the earthquakes were the result of the Indo-Australian plate rending itself apart. Seismologists have suspected the plate might be breaking apart since the 1980's. But the April earthquakes are the clearest evidence yet of this phenomenon. As one scientist wrote, "The long-term scenario is that a nascent plate tectonic boundary is forming: the Australian plate is becoming detached from the Indian plate."


    This detachment will take several million years to complete, but research suggests more earthquakes like the ones in April will become increasingly likely in the future.
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    For weather and climate, you could use the recent tornado outbreak that hit Texas

    Deadly tornado strikes Texas town of Granbury

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22549952
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    For tectonics, the two earthquakes in Iran- from April

    Major earthquake strikes Southwest Iran/ West Pakistan

    The most major earthquake in Iran for more than 50 years struck yesterday, sending tremors across Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the wider Middle East and Caucasus area. 30 people are reported to be injured in Iran so far, but more than 30 have been reported dead in Pakistan and hundreds injured.

    The earthquake measured at a strong 7.8 and struck in a very remote area of Iran, away from major towns and cities, limiting casualties. The Iranian Seismological institute also stated that the earthquake was deep focus, so, along with the Red Cresent, didn't expect too much of a catastrophe in Iran.

    Another deadly Earthquake in Iran


    37 people have been killed in an earthquake in Iran, and more than 850 injured. The quake struck scarily close to Iran's only nuclear reactor, but luckily, the rector is reported to be working normally and with no damage reported. The earthquake struck at a focus of 10km and near one of Iran's major port cities; Bushehr. The earthquake could be felt strongly in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where it was reported that some buildings shook violently, although no damage or injuries were reported.
    In Iran however, many smaller cities suffered from major damage and many villiages were completly flattened.
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    For tectonics and tsunamis, you could use the Solomon Islands tsunami to help you in your essays!

    Quake off Solomon Islands triggers deadly tsunami

    Homes were damaged and at least five people have been reported dead after a tsunami triggered by an undersea earthquake hit the Solomon Islands.


    The quake, with a magnitude 8.0, struck at 01:12 GMT near the Santa Cruz islands, the US Geological Survey said.
    A tsunami measuring 0.9m (3ft) then hit Lata on eastern Santa Cruz island, swamping the island's airport.


    A tsunami warning was triggered for several Pacific nations, but was cancelled about two hours later.


    Lata is the main town on Santa Cruz, also known as Nendo. It is the largest island in the Santa Cruz island chain, part of the Solomon Islands nation.


    The worst of the damage was said to have been on the western coast of Santa Cruz, with one report putting the waves there at 1.5m.
    Medical staff at Lata hospital said five people had been killed - four elderly people and one young boy.


    But director of nursing Augustine Pilve told New Zealand television that number could rise.


    "It's more likely that other villages along the coast of Santa Cruz may be affected," he said.


    Robert Iroga, press secretary to the Solomons prime minister, told the BBC that the waves west of Lata had traveled some 500m inland, and that three villages had been damaged.


    Many of the homes in the area were semi-permanent, he said, and were reported to have been flattened.


    Police were traveling to the area, he said, and the priority was to ensure the local airport is functioning so aid and supplies can be flown in.

    Another government spokesman, George Herming, said reports suggested that between 60 to 70 homes have been damaged in four villages on Santa Cruz Islands.


    "At this stage, authorities are still trying to establish the exact number and extent of damage," he told AFP, adding that communications with the islands was difficult because of their remoteness.


    Initial reports by the USGS said the quake had a shallow depth of 5.8km (3.6 miles) but it later revised the figure to 28.7km (17.8 miles).
    Luke Taula, a fisheries officer in Lata, told Reuters news agency the wave came as several small tidal surges.


    "We have small waves come in, then go out again, then come back in. The waves have reached the airport terminal," he told the news agency.
    Tsunami warnings were issued for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, and Wallis and Futuna islands, but they were later cancelled by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which warned that some coastal areas may still experience small changes in sea level.


    The Solomon Islands form part of the Ring Of Fire, a zone of volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches encircling the Pacific basin.


    The 8.0 earthquake was followed by several aftershocks, the largest measuring 6.6 magnitude.


    The region has been experiencing a series of smaller quakes in recent days.


    In 2007 an 8.1 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed at least 52 people in the Solomons and left thousands homeless.
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    Tectonics

    April 20th 2013 - Sichuan Province (China)

    Magnitude readings vary: 6.6-7.0M

    Epicentre: 85 km from the earthquake of May 2008

    Impacts: 208 deaths, 12,000 injured, 100,000s homeless, landslides and infrastructure damage.

    Relief: Similarly to the 2008 event, local people and members of the army helped with rescue effort, digging for survivors immediately after the earthquake.
 
 
 
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