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The Physical And Human Factors Which Affect The Location And The Impact Of The Earthquake Hazard

978 words - 4 pages

The Physical and Human Factors Which Affect the Location and the Impact of the Earthquake Hazard

Earthquakes are natural hazards that have occurred since the dawn of
time. They are products of the Earth's ever-changing face and lead to
the movement of the world's tectonic plates. An earthquake is a hazard
resulting from major geological processes and the release of energy
within the earth leading to catastrophic incidents such as earthquake
and volcanic eruptions. The effects of earthquakes can have
considerable damage to the physical and human environments and the
impact and location of an earthquake can alter the damage of the

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But if the focus is located several meters below ground such
as during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 then the impact will be
devastating. If the focus is located out at sea like it was during the
Mexico City earthquake in 1985 then the shock waves will enchanted by
the water thus increasing the strength of the hazard and also it will
create tsunamis which means that the amount of damage that the hazards
brings will be increased. Another physical factor that can effect the
impact of the earthquake is the foundation material that the area
above the focus is developed upon. If the foundation rock is granite
then the shock waves will become absorbed more reducing the damage
that the earthquake brings, but if the rock type is weaker such as
limestone then the shock waves will not reduce in strength and the
impact of the earthquake will increase in destruction. Another
physical factor which can effect the impact of an earthquake is the
duration of the shaking, the longer the shaking the more damage the
earthquake will cause. This will mean that the impact of the hazard
will increase in damage if it occurs for long stretch rather than
occurring in small shakes.

The human factors differ greatly from the physical factors but exert
the same or more amount of damage. There are not a lot of human
factors that can effect the location of an earthquake but a known
example that has caused an earthquake to occur is because of the
construction of a reservoir and dam. This occurred in the middle of
the Indian subcontinent well away from the Himalayan collision belt at
Killari. The construction of a dam and reservoir meant that the weight
of the water in the reservoir and the increase of pressure in the
rocks lubricated the fault line so that it could move easier and thus
triggering off an...

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