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Lecture 11

Lecture 11

7 Pages
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Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles

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EESA LECTURE 11
Environmental geoscience is really all about protecting human society from natural
hazards. Urban development and urban sprawl are also big issues, we have these
cities with 20-30 million people, they are all creating waste, we have to get power to
all of them. We have an urban shadow which is an economic influence in that city.
Ex. Toronto needs cement, to have cement you need gravel, they have run out of
their own and must get it from Manatoulin Island.
What is the main issue with using lakes and ponds as drinking water? Many of them
are already polluted or are very susceptible to pollution. Ground water that comes
up through fractured rocks, to understand the basic resource you need to know how
much and where it is, use basic geological forces to figure this out.
Water sheds are impacted by urban development, rivers are what we call hardened.
Ex. Highland creek in the early days it was a meandering river, big bends. With
urbanization less water goes into the ground, so the discharge in the water becomes
much more flashy it goes up and down. What once was a meandering river now
wants to straighten itself, lot of erosion and flooding. Same for all of the creeks in
urban areas.
Wastes: a lot of different sources of wastes have to be moved around and stored
properly. Must be put in landfills, holes in ground that you put the waste in.
classically out of sight out of mind. When it rains the water goes through the
garbage and produces something called leachate. Leachate moves out from the
bottom of the pit as a plume, like smoke wafting away and the shape of these plumes
is exactly the same, must look at the shape and velocity that they are moving.
Modern landfills have to have thick liners to collect the leachate, but there are about
1200 old landfills out there (southern Ontario) that dont have this.
Remediation of contaminated sites: theres a lot of opposition now to building on
farmland, the way the city has developed now is just to develop green fields but
this is no good. If you contaminate the ground water underneath then youre taking
valuable farm areas out of the equation for the next hundred years. People are no
cleaning up ground field sites, sites that were used about 50-100 years ago, tear
down the building and rebuild. Geology, chemistry, and biology are sometimes need
to clean up these sites.
Radon gas is a product of the breakdown of uranium. Weve talked about this in the
breakdown from uranium to lead. Its colourless, odourless, invisible gas; but it does
breakdown into things like polonium which are solid people breathe that in and its
www.notesolution.com
an emerging problem, you get long cancer and so on. Important in Canada because
we have a lot of granite and shale which have a lot of uranium.
Climate warming effects: sort of disappearing, was big a few years ago, but theres
other problems we have to worry about. Part of the problem is we dont know the
direction of climate change the next 10-20 years.
Environmental impact of resource extraction and energy supplies: mining,
quarrying, this is a big area now. Biggest one in Canada is in Alberta, oil sands.
Huge amounts of sand that will be removed and treated to get oil out. The resource
industry is creating a lot of jobs in the environmental sector.
Environmental policy and planning: how should we design urban areas and so on.
Scope of environmental geosciences: understanding earth processes, providing
resource security, helping society adjust to global change; global change NOT so
much climate change; the way in which the earth is changing naturally, providing
reliable information for planning and environmental decision making; this is very
important, protection from natural hazards, and public health and safety; field
called medical geology, people are beginning to realize that there is a connection
between the geology of our area and our health.
Slide 3: costs of natural disasters: we can divide natural disasters into what we call
hydrometeorological , geological, and biological (diseases). The United States
experiences the greatest costs from natural hazards because they have a bigger area,
bigger cities, urban areas. Urban areas are more susceptible to risk. In the US,
China, Japan more cost, as urban areas get bigger the more susceptible they are to
hazards, life becomes more dangerous. 80% of all Canadians live in urban areas, the
highest in 81% in Australia.
Anthropocene: the epoch of man the period of earth history that we live in, taken
to begin with the invention of the steam engine, because that was the beginning of
the industrial revolution and demand for resources, factories. Movement of people
from poor paying jobs, to the cities. Urbanization is the number one environmental
issue, though a number of other things stem from this. In this picture we see a built
landscape, built on top of the natural, will produce contaminants that will flow into
the ground.
Slide 7: Scarborough Bluffs on the left, just get a blanket of urbanization without
any regard for watershed, we say that were doing it better nowadays, but its the
same thing.
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Description
EESA LECTURE 11 Environmental geoscience is really all about protecting human society from natural hazards. Urban development and urban sprawl are also big issues, we have these cities with 20-30 million people, they are all creating waste, we have to get power to all of them. We have an urban shadow which is an economic influence in that city. Ex. Toronto needs cement, to have cement you need gravel, they have run out of their own and must get it from Manatoulin Island. What is the main issue with using lakes and ponds as drinking water? Many of them are already polluted or are very susceptible to pollution. Ground water that comes up through fractured rocks, to understand the basic resource you need to know how much and where it is, use basic geological forces to figure this out. Water sheds are impacted by urban development, rivers are what we call hardened. Ex. Highland creek in the early days it was a meandering river, big bends. With urbanization less water goesinto the ground, so the discharge in the water becomes much more flashy it goesup and down. What once was a meandering river now wants to straighten itself, lot of erosion and flooding. Same for all of the creeks in urban areas. Wastes: a lot of different sources of wastes have to be moved around and stored properly. Must be put in landfills, holes in ground that you put the waste in. classically out of sight out of mind. When it rains the water goesthrough the garbage and produces something called leachate. Leachate moves out from the bottom of the pit as a plume, like smoke wafting away and the shape of these plumes is exactly the same, must look at the shape and velocity that they are moving. Modern landfills have to have thick liners to collect the leachate, but there are about 1200 old landfills out there (southern Ontario) that dont have this. Remediation of contaminated sites: theres a lot of opposition now to building on farmland, the way the city has developed now is just to develop green fields but this is no good. If you contaminate the ground water underneath then youre taking valuable farm areas out of the equation for the next hundred years. People are no cleaning up ground field sites, sites that were used about 50-100 years ago, tear down the building and rebuild. Geology, chemistry, and biology are sometimes need to clean up these sites. Radon gas is a product of the breakdown of uranium. Weve talked about this in the breakdown from uranium to lead. Its colourless, odourless, invisible gas; but it does breakdown into things like polonium which are solid people breathe that in and its www.notesolution.com
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