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Copy of Copy of Natural Disasters Notes

Notes
by

wms science

on 5 November 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Natural Disasters Notes

Natural Disasters
Drought
Extended periods of time without precipitation
Description:
Effects?
Increased rates of weathering and erosion!
Loose soil blown away by wind
Increased risk for flash flooding and wildfires
Water ways become contaminated
Example:
Texas 2011!!!!
Flood
Description:
One of the most common hazards.
Excess water spreading across normally dry land.
Why Texas?
Bring Nutrients & H2O
Destruction of habitats
Contamination of fresh water and ground water
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
Cons
Pros
Carry away
excess salt
from marine
ecosystems
Increase rates of weathering and erosion
Ex. Cause landslides
Tornadoes
Whirling cloud – can spin up to 500 mph!
Deadliest in US: 1925 March 18 "Tri-state"
tornado killed 695 people along its almost
300 mile track through Missouri, Illinois
and Indiana. Lasted 5 hours!
...and
there is
a
severe
electrical storm
You get a
tornado
!
However...
they are
VERY difficult to predict.
... when
warm,
humid
air is low
to the ground
Effects
Pros:
Some argue that they help
pollinate certain plants
Cons:
1. Increase rate of erosion by uprooting plants
2. Debark trees making them susceptible to disease
3. Can release large amounts of toxins and chemicals into an ecosystem
Hurricanes
Tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean (Typhoon if in the Pacific)
High winds, lightning
Description:
Effects?
If you see rooster tail clouds, there's a storm coming!
Loss of habitat for marine and coastal ecosystems
Beach, cliff, marsh, and barrier island erosion
Bring excess salt water to forests and wetlands
Defoliate trees
Largest natural threat to biodiversity!
Effects on Biodiversity:
Brought the Cozumel Thrasher
to near extinction (1988)
Barrier islands are naturally
reshaped by waves
, but hurricanes increase the rate of erosion. Hurricane Ike (2008) caused some of the worst damage to Texas beaches ever recorded!
After Hurricane Wilma (2005),
100%
of the trees in the Everglade mangroves were damage!
The loss of the canopy caused the main producers to die, and then exposed the understory to high intensity light and low humidity.
Example:
Volcanoes
Description:
Vents or cracks in Earth’s surface where magma may reach the surface.
Effects?
Pro:
Create new land
Circulate necessary gases to Earth’s atmosphere
Con:
May lead to wildfires (heat), landslides (shaking), and mudflows

Release toxic gases that create acid rain and poison the soil
Wildfires
Uncontrolled flames fueled by wind, underbrush, and high heat.






Most common in the western part of the US.
Clear 4-5 million acres of land in the US per year!
Texas Wildfire...
Bastrop 2011
Pros:
1.
Disinfect
an ecosystem and return nutrients to the soil
2. Expose normally covered soil to light to
allow new generations
of seedlings to sprout.
Cons:
1. Loss of producers and habitat soil
2. Erosion due to loss of trees that hold soil and prevent water run-off!

This photo, over the Pacific Ocean, shows smoke from southern California wildfires.
Earthquakes
Shift of Earth’s tectonic plates that releases a large amount of energy
Description:
(2011) Honshu, Japan - 9.0 magnitude and 1,600 killled!
1. Soil acts as a liquid and causes buildings to fall
2. Cause
tsunamis and landslides

(1976) 23% of giant panda bear habitat was lost after one earthquake!
Effects...
Tsunamis
What is it?
Giant wave of water caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, or even asteroid impacts.
If the tide goes out suddenly, it will hit shore within 5 minutes!
Effects?
Rapid and devestating flooding
Water contamination
Landslides
Effects:
Mass erosion due to gravity!
Create
tsunamis
if occur underwater or near water
Form lakes by blocking rivers or even form mountains!
When large amounts of earth move down a slope together
Formed by landslide dam due to earthquake in Haiti
Avalanches
Same as landslide, but with snow!
Most avalanches are triggered by humans!
Usually negative effects, but...
Can clear forests that allow for easier travel for animals Debris often creates habitats for other organisms
Finally...
Asteroids!
Guesstimates, Predictions, and Suggestions...
Scientists suggest Earth has probably been struck by over 50 asteroids at least 5km (3mi) in diameter in the past 600 million years.
Every year, asteroids up to 10m (33ft) enter Earth’s atmosphere. However, they largely get burned up.
Meteor impact site in Arizona
Best preserved impact site due to little moisture
Due to weathering and erosion on Earth, it is often difficult to see the signs of asteroid impacts
Some are thought to have led to mass extinctions by throwing large amounts of debris into the atmosphere and blocking out the Sun
On that note...
This concludes Natural Disasters


Effects?
Sometimes a tornado will
start in the midst of the fires!
Remember Bastrop wildfires?
Soil and pollutants in the wind settle in rivers, lakes, etc.
Look at Texas from 2011 to2013. Better, but still in drought!
Texas has a long history of flooding. Much of the yearly rainfall comes from a few very large storms. These storms often occur at times when the flora (plants) are either dead or dormant. In addition, the soil in Texas has a lot of clay from ancient seas that once covered the state. This clay soil does not absorb water easily.
Effects?
Effects on Erosion:
Very rare, but CRAZY!
Before
After
Full transcript