Option D Geophysical Hazards

Lesson Plans Option D Geophysical Hazards

These learning activities cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions.

1. Geophysical Systems


Mechanisms of plate movement including internal heating, convection currents, plumes, subduction and rifting at plate margins

Characteristics of volcanoes (shield, composite and cinder) formed by varying types of volcanic eruption; and associated secondary hazards (pyroclastic flows, lahars, landslides)

Characteristics of earthquakes (depth of focus, epicentre and wave types) caused by varying types of plate margin movement and human triggers (dam building, resource extraction); and associated secondary hazards (tsunami, landslides, liquefaction, transverse faults)

Classification of mass movement types according to cause (physical and human), liquidity, speed of onset, duration, extent and frequency

Plate Movement

This page provides an in-depth look at plate movement and all its known causes. It's best to start without sharing the objectives because following the map activity, the gallery activity introduces the...

Earthquakes and Associated Hazards

This page provides resources that describe and explain the characteristics and causes of earthquakes and develops the associated primary and secondary hazards. Students are first introduced to the nature...

Types of Volcano and Associated Hazards

This page includes detailed resources on the three main types of volcano and their associated eruptions and hazards. The lesson begins with a short map activity based on the Mount St Helens eruption....

Mass Movements

This page begins with a fun but dramatic opening video and then goes on to develop the types of mass movement and their causes. The first actvity involves a photograph exercise in which students examine...

2. Geophysical Hazard Risk

The distribution of geophysical hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, mass movements)

The relevance of hazard magnitude and frequency/recurrence for risk management

Geophysical hazard risk as a product of economic factors (levels of development and technology), social factors (education, gender), demographic factors (population density and structure) and political factors (governance)

Geographic factors affecting geophysical hazard event impacts, including rural/urban location, time of day and degree of isolation

The Distribution of Geophysical Hazards

This page begins with a map test based on plate knowledge but can be supported as you like with an outstanding Flash resource. The lesson goes on to examine the distribution of hazards, through a number...

Risk Vulnerability and Human Causes

This page develops the concepts of risk and vulnerability through the Disaster Risk Equation and Crunch Model. It begins with a photograph analysis question to identify factors of vulnerability. This...

Geographical Factors and Risk

This page develops in some depth the different localized geographical factors that influence risk. The lesson begins with a gallery/photo analysis activity to explore local factors. Students then look...

3. Hazard Risk and Vulnerability

  • Two contemporary contrasting case studies each for volcanic hazards, earthquake hazards and mass movement hazards
  • For each geophysical hazard type, the case studies should develop knowledge and understanding of:
    • geophysical hazard event profiles, including any secondary hazards
    • varied impacts of these hazards on different aspects of human well-being
    • why levels of vulnerability varied both between and within communities, including spatial variations in hazard perception, personal knowledge and preparedness

Contrasting Hazard Profiles

This page introduces hazard profiling through independent student work. They first recap the Crunch Model and the factors relating to the hazard that might influence risk. Hazard profiles are briefly...

Contrasting Impacts

This page provides resources that enable students to investigate the contrasting impacts of the 6 case studies. It begins with a flash card activity classifying their severity in relation to different...

Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Think Tank

This page sets up the resources for a think tank activity. The students are commissioned by the UN to produce a briefing paper on vulnerability to risk from geophysical hazards. There are four stages...

4. Future Resilience and Adaptation

Global geophysical hazard and disaster trends and future projections, including event frequency and population growth estimates

Geophysical hazard adaptation through increased government planning (land use zoning) and personal resilience (increased preparedness, use of insurance and adoption of new technology)

Pre-event management strategies for mass movement (to include slope stabilization), earthquakes and tsunami (to include building design, tsunami defences), volcanoes (to include GPS crater monitoring and lava diversions)

Post-event management strategies (rescue, rehabilitation, reconstruction), to include the enhanced use of communications technologies to map hazards/disasters, locate survivors and promote continuing human development

Trends in Geophysical Hazards

This page uses a variety of graphics and maps to explore the trends in geophysical hazards before looking at the challenges of prediction and forecasting of hazards. A gallery of resources and resource...

Geophysical Hazard Adaptation

This page has a large amount of resources looking at ways places can adapt to geophysical hazards. It begins with students looking at a number of hazard risk maps and student examine how authorities can...

Pre-event Management Strategies

Enquiry QuestionHow can authoritiess manage geophysical hazards prior to the event?Lesson Time: 1 HourLesson Objectives:Teacher Notes:Click on the image below and using the model tab add different land...

Post-event Management

This page provides resources on the post-event strategies for hazard management. It begins with a card sort on different types of responses and students sort them into a time-frame for post event management....

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