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Lecture 1

EARTHSC 2GG3 Lecture 1: Lecture 1 part 3

Earth Sciences
Course Code
N.Mc Laughlin

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Hydrological Cycle
Solar energy drives movement of water btwn atmosphere and oceans and continents
Processes include: evaporation, precipitations, surface runoff, and subsurface flow
Water is stored in compartments such as oceans, the atmosphere, rivers, streams, etc.
o Residence time is the estimated average time that a drop of water spends in any
o Only a small amount of water is active at any given time
Biogeochemical Cycles
The transfer or cycling of an element or elements through the atmosphere
o Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus
Elements and chemical compounds are transferred via a series of reservoirs
The amount of elements in each reservoir, and their rates of transfer btwn each, are
known only approximately
Fundamental Concepts for Understanding Natural Processes as Hazards
1. Hazards can be understood through scientific investigation and analysis
2. An understanding of hazardous processes is vital to evaluating risk
3. Hazards are linked to each other and the environment
4. Population growth and socio-economic changes increase the risk from natural hazards
5. Damage and loss of life from natural disasters can be reduced
1. Science and Natural Hazards
Scientists observe hazardous events and form a possible explanation
o From this explanation, a hypothesis is formed
o Data is collected to test a hypothesis
Allows for identification of where hazard occur, their magnitude, and their frequency
Knowledge of past events can be used to determine future risks
Hazardous Processes are Natural
They are a result of natural forces
Although we can, to a degree, control some hazards, many are completely beyond our
The best solution is preparation
Prediction and Forecast
o Specific date, time, and magnitude of the event
o Less precise and has a range of probability for the event
Some hazards can be predicted, most can be forecasted
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