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Lecture%20#1%20notes%20%20Geol%203950%202010%20CR%20Stern -...

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Lecture #1 notes, Geology 3950, Spring 2010; CR Stern Introduction This class concerns the dynamic nature of the Earth and the geologic/climate/population changes that result in natural catastrophes. Tables below, reproduced from the text, indicate on the average approximately 40,000 – 50,000 fatalities per year from natural disasters between 1947-1980, and about the same number per year between 1980-2001. In 2003, 83,000 died in various disasters, and >250,000 people were killed in the December 26, 2004 earthquake and tsunami, so these years were above the average.
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The figure below from the text indicates a trend of rapidly growing (doubling approximately every 12 years) yearly economic losses between 1950 and 2002 from these same disasters. This is due to increased cost of infra structure, not increased number of disasters. The course considers the processes that produce these disasters, including earthquakes, plate tectonics, volcanism, climate change, meteorite impact, magnetic reversals,
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