EOSC 114 Midterm: EOSC 114 Midterm 1 Learning Goals

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Published on 5 Jul 2016
School
UBC
Department
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Course
EOSC 114
Professor
Fragile Systems 1
Compare and contrast risk, perception of risk, hazard, and vulnerability.
Hazards are any event/situation that can cause human or economic harm.
Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that could be affected by a disaster.
Risk is the probability that any given hazardous event might occur (chance of a potential
loss).
Humans are poor at judging risk and our perceptions skew our ability to judge risk
Hazard = anything that CAN CAUSE HARM
Risk = chance at a POTENTIAL LOSS
Relate natural-disaster risk & intensity to frequency, return period, and consequences
(costs).
Risk, intensity and frequency are all directly proportional to the consequences (costs). More
intense disasters occur less frequently. But when such disasters do occur, they require huge
expenditures of time and money for recovery.
Return period is the average number of years between disaster events of the same magnitude.
It is calculated with the formula: RP = (time span of data) / (# of cases of M magnitude).
Frequency: number of occurrences in a given length of time i.e. frequency= 1/period, Period=
1/frequency
Period: The longer the return period, the smaller the chance of an event occurring in any given
year
*frequency and return period are based on statistical probabilities/ should not be used as
forecasting measures
*larger-magnitude disasters happen less often
Describe population growth and explain why it is important for natural disasters.
Human population growth was exponential, the growth is currently linear
It is important for natural disasters because population growth is closely linked to the increase of
life and economic loss related to natural disasters.
Population growth used to be exponential now LINEAR.
Even after subtracting all the human lives lost each year to natural disasters, accidents,
diseases, wars and epidemics such as AIDS, the human population has recently grown by
about 80 million per year.
Explain how Earth’s carrying capacity and overpopulation are related to the fate of the
human race, and anticipate your role in it.
Carrying capacity is the population that can be sustainably supported by the Earth.
Overpopulation and the carrying capacity are linked to the fate of the human race
because overpopulation is projected to result in resources, food and services to fall.
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Fragile Systems 2
Define force and work.
Force is strength or energy that results in objects being pushed or pulled.
Work is force over a distance quantified by energy.
Explain how the force of gravity affects motion and energy.
The force of gravity creates a continuous acceleration downward for all objects on Earth.
List 4 types of energy important to disasters and describe what causes them to vary.
Potential Energy is the work needed to raise an object of mass m across a distance h
against the force of gravity. Potential energy is measured by: PE = m*g*h.
Kinetic Energy is the amount of energy possessed by an object in motion. Kinetic energy
is measured by: ½ (mv^2).
Sensible Heat is heat that we can sense or feel. When we measure temperature, we are
measuring sensible heat, the heat you feel against the sun or a hot stove.
Latent Heat is inert heat hidden within the chemical bonds of atoms. Latent heat is
released as sensible heat when the object undergoes a change in phase (bonds
breaking).
Explain how disasters are associated with concentration or dilution of energy.
Natural disasters are, by definition, large amounts of energy released in a short amount of time.
Earth’s internal energy fuels earthquakes and volcanoes while external energy from the sun
causes storms.
INTERNAL ENERGY -> Earthquakes + volcanoes
by extension, tsunami and landslides
EXTERNAL ENERGY -> Storms + Impacts
Explain (with examples) how energy conservation applies to natural disasters.
Energy conservation is linked to natural disasters because as we consume more energy, we
increase the temperature of the Earth. This leads to more storms and other natural disasters.
as ENERGY is CONSUMED, Earth’s TEMPERATURE INCREASES
Explain why disaster scales are based on the Order-of-Magnitude concept, and interpret
graphs with logarithmic scales.
To quantify intensity using logarithmic scales; many disaster scales use a “power” variable to
indicate intensity, usually in powers of 10.
DISASTER SCALES USE POWERS OF 10
Earthquakes 1
Relate the layering of the Earth (composition and strength) to the operation of plate
tectonics and earthquakes
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The Earth is layered from inside to outside with: metallic core, heavy rock mantle and light rock
crust.
The Earth is also layered from outside to inside with: solid lithosphere, “soft plastic”
asthenosphere, “stiff plastic” mesosphere, the liquid outer core and the solid inner core.
METALLIC CORE -> HEAVY ROCK MANTLE -> LIGHT ROCK CRUST
Describe the differences between crust and mantle, lithosphere and asthenosphere
The difference between the crust and the mantle is that the crust is a lighter colored low-density
rock and the mantle is a darker colored heavy rock.
The asthenosphere is composed of “soft plastic” which, alongside the “stiff plastic” mesosphere,
undergoes a convection cycle where certain areas rise or sink due to variations in the Earth’s
internal heat. The lithosphere is the outer layer and is rigid, therefore it is not a part of the
convection cycle.
SOLID INNER CORE -> LIQUID OUTER CORE -> STIFF PLASTIC MESOSPHERE -> SOFT
PLASTIC LITHOSPHERE -> RIGID CRUST
Describe the typical ridgecrest spreading rate – and therefore the typical convergence or
subduction rate.
4 CM / YEAR
Describe the global distribution of earthquakes and how the frequency of earthquakes
changes with magnitude
Earthquakes are distributed along plate boundaries. The frequency of earthquakes decrease
sharply as magnitude increases.
FREQUENCY = 1 / MAGNITUDE
Explain how any rock can be brittle and elastic and plastic (even all at the same time)
Elastic means it springs back to its original state. Ductile is the viscous flow of a solid. Brittle
means the rock breaks permanently.
ELASTIC = BACK TO ORIGINAL STATE
DUCTILE = VISCOUS
BRITTLE = WEAK AND BREAK
Earthquakes 2
Compare and contrast between the 3 types of plate tectonic boundaries (divergent,
convergent, and transform) and their sub-types (i.e., different combinations of oceanic
and continental plates)
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Document Summary

Compare and contrast risk, perception of risk, hazard, and vulnerability. Hazards are any event/situation that can cause human or economic harm. Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that could be affected by a disaster. Risk is the probability that any given hazardous event might occur (chance of a potential loss). Humans are poor at judging risk and our perceptions skew our ability to judge risk. Relate natural-disaster risk & intensity to frequency, return period, and consequences (costs). Risk, intensity and frequency are all directly proportional to the consequences (costs). But when such disasters do occur, they require huge expenditures of time and money for recovery. Return period is the average number of years between disaster events of the same magnitude. It is calculated with the formula: rp = (time span of data) / (# of cases of m magnitude). Frequency: number of occurrences in a given length of time i. e. frequency= 1/period, period=

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