Part 1. Geophysical Systems

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

How do geological processes give rise to geophysical events of differing type and magnitude?

Key Content:

  • Mechanisms of plate movement including internal heating, convection currents, plumes, subduction and rifting at plate margins
  • Characteristics of volcanoes (shield, composite and cinder) formed by varying types of volcanic eruption; and associated secondary hazards (pyroclastic flows, lahars, landslides)
  • Characteristics of earthquakes (depth of focus, epicentre and wave types) caused by varying types of plate margin movement and human triggers (dam building, resource extraction); and associated secondary hazards (tsunami, landslides, liquefaction)
  • Classification of mass movement types according to cause (physical and human), liquidity, speed of onset, duration, extent and frequency

Wednesday 13 September 2022

Mechanisms of Plate Movement…

​In this section, we will take a brief look at plate tectonic theory, structure of the earth as well as subduction and rifting. These are the key processes that shape our planet and are important before we continue with our study of places, power and possibility later.

The godfather of plate tectonic theory is a gentleman called Alfred Wegener. Watch the first video below to find out a little more about him and then download the worksheet below and complete the six tasks set out. 

Lesson 1. Mechanisms of Plate Movement (Google Doc)

Alfred Wegener
Plate Tectonics
Mantle Plume Iceland

Thursday 14 September 2022

Characteristics of Volcanoes

You will be completing an independent study task to discover more information about the three major types of volcanoes. This will be followed up with a brief examination of the associated primary and secondary effects. 

Lesson 2. Types of Volcano and Associated Effects (Google Doc)

Task 1. Watch the video below (listening out for shield, composite & cinder cone volcanes) and make notes on the first side of the worksheet above. This site will also help you to complete the first side. 

Task 2. Volcanic Hazards – See below for more information to help you fill in side two of your worksheet:

Volcanic Landslides- Link 
Lahars – Link
Pyroclastic Flows – Link  & excellent science link here

Monday 19 September 2022

Characteristics of Earthquakes

Starter: What does this map show?

Task 1. Watch the video below to gain an understanding of what we will be doing today.

Using a copy of the worksheet for this section below, complete all tasks as set out. Additional resources required for this section can be found below. 

Lesson 3. Characteristics of Earthquakes (Google Doc)

Task 2. Focus Depth (Weblink)

Task 3. P & S Waves – (Weblink)
Love and Rayleigh Waves – (Weblink) (scroll down to half way down the page) 

Human Triggers of Earthquakes

​Extensive human modification of natural systems and mass extraction of resources has meant that we have been able to attribute increased earthquake activity with human trigger events. This short piece of work will give you the opportunity to investigate both dam building and the process of the extraction of rock (quarry) as focus material. Complete your note taking on the sheet embedded above by using the resources below. 

Dam Building and Quakes (PDF)

France Quake and Quarrying (Weblink)

Homework: Complete ALL tasks from both the volcanoes and earthquakes lessons.

Thursday 22 September 2022

Secondary Earthquake Hazards

During this brief section, we will look at the ever dangerous secondary hazards associated with earthquakes. You live in a time of significant tectonic activity and have been alive during two tsunami events as well at witnessing some of the most violent earthquakes recorded in human history. We will be looking at tsunami’s, landslides and liquefaction. 

Task 1. Using the information above and a copy of the the worksheet below, create three revision diagrams with annotations to show the processes behind these secondary hazards. 

Lesson 4. Secondary Earthquake Hazards (Google Doc)

Monday 26 September 2022

Classification of Mass Movement Types

In this last section of the introduction to geophysical hazards, we need to classify mass movement types according to cause (physical and human), liquidity, speed of onset, duration, extent and frequency. There are five main types of mass movement:

  1. Landslides
  2. Rockfall
  3. Mudflows
  4. Soil creep
  5. Slumping

Task: Use the following information and your own research to create a ONE PAGE revision worksheet on the type of mass movement that you have been assigned. You will then present this page to the rest of the class and will make copies for everyone. Each type of mass movement event has a different set of questions that must be answered. See Google Doc below:

Lesson 5. Mass Movement (Google Doc)

Soil Creep

Mass Movement (Weblink)

Review: Check your knowledge: Spend a few minutes playing this game against the clock. Can you get onto the leader board? 

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