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Study Guide

GG231- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 31 pages long!)


Department
Geography
Course Code
GG231
Professor
Alireza Ghaffari
Study Guide
Final

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WLU
GG231
Final EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Lesson 1: Introduction
Hazards
Hazard: the probability that a specific damaging event will happen within a particular period of time
Two types: natural or not natural
Natural Hazards:
o Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and fires
Non-Natural Hazards (caused by humans):
o Pandemics, warfare, and technological disasters (power failures, etc)
Risk Assessment
Risk: the product of the probability of a hazardous event and the expected damage if the event does occur
Disaster and Catastrophe
How are disaster and catastrophe similar? How are they different?
o Events that cause serious injury, loss of life, and property damage over a limited time and within a
specific geographic region.
o Catastrophe is more massive and affects more people and infrastructure
o Disasters are regional or national
Provide several examples of a catastrophe.
o Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004
o Hurricane Katrina in August 2004
o Haiti Earthquake in January 2010
1.2 Geography of Risk
From this map identify three or four global hotspots for dangerous hazards.
o Africa, Central America, India, South America, Middle East
Moving on to map B, which regions of the world suffer the greatest economic loss?
o Africa, Central America, South Asia, South America, Middle East
o Also USA and Europe
In the last map (C) the economic variable has been adjusted to the earning capacity of the countries. In this case
which areas are hardest hit economically?
o Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Central America
How does this differ from map B?
o USA and Europe are less affected
1.3 Impacts, Measurement and Vulnerability
Largest killer of people:
o (1) Flooding. (2) Earthquakes. (3) Volcanoes. (4) Windstorms.
Impacts
Which region usually experiences large loss of life during disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes?
o Developing countries (Asia)
o For North America, tornadoes and windstorms cause the most deaths
Which region experiences greater economic loss during similar disasters?
o Developed countries
Vulnerability
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Vulnerability: refers to attributes of persons, or activities and aspects of a community that increase their
susceptibility to given dangers
Hewitt (1999) identifies six forms of vulnerability:
o exposure to dangerous agents and environments
o weaknesses predisposition of persons, buildings, communities or activities to greater harm
o lack of protection against dangerous agents and for weaker persons and items
o disadvantage lack of the resources and attributes to affect risks or respond to danger
o lack of resilience limited or no capability to avoid, withstand or offset and recover from disaster
o powerlessness inability to influence safety conditions, or acquire means of protection and relief
Resilience (Response Sequence)
1.4 Prediction and Warning
Prediction: predicting a hazardous event such as an earthquake involves specifying the date and size of event.
Forecast: less precise and has uncertainty
Magnitude and Frequency
What is magnitude a measure of?
o Magnitude: the size of an event or the amount of energy release
What is the relationship between magnitude and frequency (how often something occurs)?
o The Magnitude Frequency Concept assets that an inverse exponential relationship exists between the
magnitude of an event and its frequency
What does the term recurrence interval refer to?
o Recurrence Interval (Return Period): the average time separating two events of the same magnitude
Haiti Earthquake
- Destruction was exacerbated by poor building materials and insufficient attention to planning
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