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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 notes

11 pages111 viewsWinter 2011

Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles
Lecture
11

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LECTURE 11
FRIDAY APRIL 8, 2011
ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
EXAM FRIDAY 9-12, 120 QUESTIONS M/C, GYM
CHAPTER 20 + CONCENTRATE ON PLATE TECTONICS
(SUBDUCTION/CROSS SECTIONS/OBDUCTION/NAME & LABEL
DIAGRAMS)
1
Environmental Geoscience
oAll about protecting human society from natural hazards
oUrban shadow economic influence on the environment
(ex. changing the whole circulation pattern of the lake)
oGround water comes through rocks when rocks are
fractured from plate tectonics
oWhats the problem with surface water?
Ans. Polluted spills, mercury from the air
oWatersheds impacted by urban development, less water
goes into the ground, the discharge of the river become
much more flashy’ response times are almost immediate,
this causes a lot of flooding and erosions
oWastes must be put in landfills basically holes in the
ground where you put waste in, the waste is like a tea bag
when it rains and snow melts, water goes down through
the waste and produces something called lehchate
The lechate then moves out from the bottom of the
pit as a plume something like smoke
Modern landfills need to have liners thick plastic
liners, clay layers, pipes to collect the lehchate
There is about 1200 landfills in southern Ontario
oRemediation of contaminated sites
Brown field sites sites that we used years ago and
people want to reuse for buildings
A lot of chemicals are used to clean up remediated
sites
Ex. horse manure helped clean up a site that was
contaminated with gasoline
oRadon Gas
A product of the break down of uranium
Radon gas is colorless, odorless, invisible
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Radon gas breaks down to polonium which is solid
and people breathe this in and it can cause health
problems
This is important in Canada because we have a lot of
granite and a lot of shales which contains a lot of
uranium which causes radon gas
oClimate warming affects
1998 was the warmest year
Some people argue that the earth is cooling
oMining and quarrying
Whats the biggest one in Canada now?
Ans. Alberta, Oil sand sand is used to get oil
out
2
Scope of environmental geosciences
Understand earth processes
Providing resource security
Helping society adjust to global change
Providing reliable information for planning and environmental
decision making
Protection from natural hazards
Public health and safety
3
Cost of natural disasters
Hydro-meteorological, biological things like diseases, geological
United States experiences the greatest cost from natural hazards
because its a bigger area/cities/urban areas.
The US, China, Japan as urban area get bigger they are more
susceptible to hazards, life become more dangerous
Urban population is increasing
80% of Canadians live in urban areas, 81% in Australia live in
urban areas
4
5
6
Anthropocene The Epoch Of Man
The last period of earth history the one we are living in
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It began with the invention of the steam engine because that was
the beginning of the industrial revolution, demand for resources,
factories, and urbanization exploded with the industrial
revolution
Urbanization is one of the #1 environmental issue
The picture
oIts a built landscape another layer on top of what was
natural landscape
oSome of the sites here would put contaminants into the
ground
7
Scarborough bluffs is on the left
The change in the landscape from 1947 to 1962 Urbanization,
without much regard for the watershed
Very rapid hardening of watershed
You are replacing what were permeable surfaces with what was
impermeable surfaces
8
This image shows before urbanization (threes) and after
urbanization
The flow arrows is surface runoff
The red arrow is base flow (groundwater), they are called base flow
because the groundwater later emerges as springs and its the tiny
little springs that keeps rivers flowing in the summer when there is
no rain falls
If we put an impermeable surface on the watershed, look at what
happens to the relative amount in those two components
Ans. Surface flow increases and the base flow component is reduced
The bottom is what is called Hydro graph this shows the amount
of water coming down the river through time
The little boxes next to river measures the stage of the river on
whether its rising or falling
In urban areas there is more water coming down and it arises very
quickly and dies off very quickly, so the whole river flowing changes
and you get erosion
The amount of flow in the river at dry periods, you get more
reduced flow of the river meaning there is less water to dilute
contaminants, the water is very warm (thermal structure of the
water changes)
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