hazardousgeolproc - HazGeolProc EENS 204 Tulane University...

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This page last updated on 07-Jan-2004 EENS 204 Natural Disasters Tulane University Prof. Stephen A. Nelson Assessing Hazards and Risk As discussed before, natural disasters are produced by processes that have been operating since the Earth formed. Such processes are beneficial to us as humans because they are responsible for things that make the Earth a habitable planet for life. For example: z Throughout Earth history, volcanism has been responsible for producing much of the water present on the Earth's surface, and for producing the atmosphere. z Earthquakes are one of the processes responsible for the formation of mountain ranges which help to determine climate zones on the Earth's surface. z Erosional processes, including flooding, landslides, and windstorms replenishes soil and helps sustain life. Such processes are only considered hazardous when they adversely affect humans and their activities. Types of Hazards Natural Hazards Natural Hazards and the natural disasters that result can be divided into several different categories: z Geologic Hazards - These are the main subject of this course and include: { Earthquakes { Volcanic Eruptions { Tsunamis { Landslides { Floods { Subsidence { Impacts with space objects z Atmospheric Hazards - These are also natural hazards but processes operating in the atmosphere are mainly responsible. They will also be considered in this course, and include: { Hurricanes { Tornadoes { Droughts { Severe Thunderstorms { Lightening HazGeolProc 1/7/2004 Page 1 of 6
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z Other Natural Hazards - These are hazards that may occur naturally, but don't fall in to either of the categories above. They will not be considered to any great extent in this course, but include: { Insect infestations { Disease { Wildfires Natural Hazards can also be divided into catastrophic hazards , which have devastating consequences to huge numbers of people, or have a worldwide effect, such as impacts with large space objects, huge volcanic eruptions, world-wide disease epidemics, and world-wide droughts. Such catastrophic hazards only have a small chance of occurring, but can have devastating results if they do occur. Natural Hazards can also be divided into rapid onset hazards , such as Volcanic Eruptions, Earthquakes, Floods, Landslides, Severe Thunderstorms, Lightening, and wildfires, which develop with little warning and strike rapidly. Slow onset hazards, like drought, insect infestations, and disease epidemics take years to develop. Anthropogenic Hazards These are hazards that occur as a result of human interaction with the environment. They include Technological Hazards , which occur due to exposure to hazardous substances, such as radon, mercury, asbestos fibers, and coal dust. They also include other hazards that have formed only through human interaction, such as acid rain, and contamination of the atmosphere or surface waters with harmful substances, as well as the potential for human destruction of the ozone layer and potential global warming. Effects of Hazards
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2010 for the course LIR 30 taught by Professor Thornley,k during the Spring '08 term at Santa Rosa.

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hazardousgeolproc - HazGeolProc EENS 204 Tulane University...

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