Geographical Factors and Risk

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 in more depth at resources based on the earthquakes at Sinchuan, Kashmir and Bam and complete their noting sheet, examining geographical factors before, during and after the events. This can be followed up with the 9-card diamond ranking and discussion on generalized local geographical factors. The lesson concludes with the introduction to the essay assessment on risk.

Enquiry Question

How do geographic factors contribute geophysical hazards becoming creating disasters?

Lesson Time: 1 Hour

Lesson Objectives:

To assess the importance of different geographic factors affecting geophysical hazard event impacts, including rural/urban location, time of day and degree of isolation.

Teacher Notes:

Starter -  Local Physical Factors - Begin with the gallery and worksheet. For each image students should consider the local physical factors that influence risk.

Map Analysis - Focus on the map evidence activity based on the satellite image and map of the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami

Map Analysis - Show the maps within the site and students  should attempt to identify information that would effect the severity of impacts before, during and following an earthquake for the four places examples.

Student Assessment - Essay Question - Run through the guideline for the essay in class and set for homework - Discuss the extent to which to agree with the statement 'that risks that communities are exposed to from geophysical hazards depends almost entirely on the magnitude of the event'. (12)

Starter Activity - Photo Analysis - Processes

Study the following gallery and for each image examine the local physical factors that influenced the level of risk to the geophysical harzards.

Starter Worksheet - Local Physical Factors

Student Activity - Map Analysis - Processes

Study the two maps showing the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Using map evidence describe how the geographical location may have influenced the nature of hazards

Student Activity - Geographical Factors and Hazards - Processes

Study the following Twitter video capturing the extent of liquefaction movement near Palu in Saluwesi.

What factors relating the local geographical context do you think helped create the conditions for such devastating liquefaction?

Click the image

Student Activity - Earthquake Maps - Processes and Spatial Patterns

Study the maps below for Sichuan Province, Pakistan Kashmir and Bam, Iran

For each map use evidence to explain how geographical factors of the area and event exposed people to greater risk before during and after the earthquakes

Map Activity Worksheet

9-Card Diamond Ranking Activity


Student Assessment - Essay Question - Places, Processes and Power

Discuss the extent to which you agree with the statement 'that risks that communities are exposed to from geophysical hazards depends almost entirely on the magnitude of the event'. (10)

  1. Defines key words and addresses the statement by stating a clear argument
  2. Demonstrates clear evaluation of factors that influence risk in line with the question
  3. Uses a broad range of focused examples as evidence for the argument
  4. Develops a balanced but persuasive argument
  5. Takes a clear and well stated view on the importance of the magnitude of the event
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