introduction - Introduction and Geologic Framework of...

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This page last updated on 05-Jan-2004 EENS 204 Natural Disasters Tulane University Prof. Stephen A. Nelson Introduction and Planetary Setting Hazardous Processes z Geology is the study of the Earth and its history. z Geologic Processes effect every human on the Earth all of the time, but are most noticeable when they cause loss of life or property. Such life or property threatening processes are called natural disasters. Among them are: { Earthquakes { Eruptions of Volcanoes { Tsunamis { Landslides { Subsidence { Floods { Droughts { Hurricanes { Tornadoes { Meteorite Impacts z All of these processes have existed throughout Earth history, but the processes have become hazardous only because they negatively affect us as human beings. Important Point - There would be no natural disasters if it were not for humans. Without humans these are only natural events. z Risk is characteristic of the relationship between humans and geologic processes. We all take risks everyday. The risk from natural disasters, while it cannot be eliminated, can, in some cases be understood in a such a way that we can minimize the hazard to humans, and thus minimize the risk. To do this, we need to understand something about the processes that operate, and understand the energy required for the process. Then, we can develop an action to take to minimize the risk. Such minimization of risk is called hazard mitigation .
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