Geography Topic 8 : A Wasteful World

4.1 types of waste and it’s problem

a. the differences in waste production between low-income countries (LICs) and high income countries (HICs)

  • HICs typically produce 5 times the amount of waste LICs produce

LICs on average produce 100-200 kg/year/person

HICs on average produce 400-800 kg/year/person

  • Top HIC waste producing countries (/kg/year/person)
  1. Ireland – 800
  2. Norway 780
  3. USA – 760
  4. Denmark – 725
  5. (10) UK – 600
  • Top LIC waste producing countries (/kg/year/person)
  1. Laos – 237
  2. Vietnam – 182
  3. Philippines – 149
  4. Thailand – 73

b. greater wealth is a major contributor to increasing waste, especially in HICs

Consumer society – As countries become more wealthy, they have greater demand for consumer products. They buy more items and replace them more frequently

Throw away society  – Tendency to buy things and dispose of them

Why is waste in LICs less?

  • Consumer purchases are limited due to low income. People can’t afford to buy new products therefore practical up cycling is commonly practised
  • Purchases in LICs have very little packaging – and often biodegradable
  • Literacy rates in LICs are very low therefore not many read and throw away newspapers – 84% of the world’s paper consumption is by HICs

Why is waste in HICs high?

  • Wealthy countries have a greater demand for consumer products due to more disposable income (eg. GDP / capita USA : $40K, GDP / capita Uganda : 294)
  • Imported goods have more packaging (UK: 10.5 mil tonnes of waste in 2007 from packaging)

c. Types of domestic waste produced in HICs

  • Green waste  – waste broken down by living organisms originating form plant or animals
  • Non biodegradable waste – waste that can’t be broken down by living organisms
  • Industrial waste – Waste produced by industrial activity eg. of factories and mines
  • Domestic waste  – waste consisting of everyday items, eg. food, yard, containers and product packaging. Includes residential and commercial waste
  • E waste – Discarded electronic devices. An estimated 15 mil phones are thrown away annually in the UK, the UN estimates that 50 mil tones of E waste is produced annually.

Packaging : Materials used for the containment, protection and handling

  • The UK produced 10.5 mil tonnes of packaging waste in 2007. 70% were due to food and drink
  • Mixed material packaging presents some problems as multiple materials makes a package hard to dispose of

4.2 – recycling and disposal of waste

a. how waste is recycled at a local scale and how recycled material is used

Case Study : Bracknell Forest Council

  • Works with Reading + Workingham council for the disposal of waste

2 main house hold waste recycling centres

– Small Mead, Island Road, Reading

– Longshot lanes, Bracknell

  • 150 recycle sites and 3 authority centres located at convenient places such as supermarket
  • Also a website with clear directions

House collections

  • Alternate waste collection for recycling and compost.
  • On the other week general waste is collected and delivered to it’s respective recycling area

Paper and Cardboard

  1. Paper and cardboard collected from houses
  2. Taken to Severnside recycling facility
  3. Material sorted from pure and contaminated (eg. ink is a contaminant)
  4. Paper is pulped, baled and sent to St. Regis paper mill, Kent
  5. Pulp rolled and layered to make reels of paper
  6. Paper turned into packaging material


  1. Recycled at Baylis recycling plant near Keynsham, Bristol
  2. Bottles sorted by polymer type and colour
  3. Melted and formed into new shape
  4. Wide range of products created


  1. Sorted into 3 different colours at recycling point
  2. Mixed glass used by aggregate industry
  3. Collected for reprocessing by Berryman’s from Dagenham
  4. Glass collected into large roads from different places to be reprocessed in Yorkshire
  5.  Glass washed and crushed to make a cullet
  6. Cullet washed with new materials eg. limestone
  7. During heating process, recycled glass is used to save energy so they don’t have to heat it to such high temperatures



  1. Sent to Biffa Waste Management Facility, South Hampton
  2. Transferred into a reprocessing facility, Leister
  3. Separation from aluminium and steel.

As steel is magnetic, it’s attracted by a magnet and processed by European Metals Recycling LTD, then sent to a furnace to where they are mixed with molten iron. Poured into a mould to make large slabs and rolled into coils to be used for bikes and cars.

Aluminium on the other hand is shredded to the size of a 10p, shreds are passed through a magnetic drum to remove the last of steel and molten aluminium is pumped into moulds, chilled until solidification and to be used in the making of new cars

b. the ways in which HICs dispose of different types of waste


Germany produces 60 mil tonnes / year

1.Landfill – 160 sites

  • Involves putting waste in the ground and covering it with soil or rock
  • Germany in the 1970s had 50,000 sites

Problems with landfill

  • Escaping liquids and gases from rotting waste pollute land
  • Suitable landfill sites are running out. They must have correct geological conditions eg. not nearby water supply and crops must not be affected by seepage
  • Landfill land is now more expensive

2. Exporting

  • Germany exports 1.8 mil tonnes of non-hazardous waste a year to countries such as China or Spain. They see it as an opportunity to earn money
  • Germany exports their nuclear waste to France and the UK

3. Incineration

  • Germany has 68 incinerators, also a source of energy
  •  Darmstadt deals with 212,000 tonnes of waste / year
  • Plans to build 100 more incinerators
  • One problem is they still may emit emissions

4. Recycling

  • Germany has very strict laws concerning recycling
  • Germany has the capacity to recycle less than a third of it’s waste
  • The Green Dot Scheme operates in 20 countries and has been successful in declining waste to 1 mil tonnes/year 
  • Unfortunately the scheme is expensive – $2.5 bn/year
  • 67% of waste is recycled and 32% is burnt


4.3 – sources and uses of energy

a. energy resources can be classified as renewable and non renewable. Some renewable sources of energy are easier to develop than others

Non renewable energy

Type of fuel Origin Advantage Disadvantage
Coal Fossilised plants, found in seams / close to the surface of the Earth or mined underground

Must be burnt to produce energy


Easy to convert  into energy

Coal supplies should last for 250 years

Gives off greenhouse gasses
Oil Fossilised animals

Lakes of oil found under the land / sea

Pipes put down through the ground, liquid pumped to provide energy


Easy to convert

Oil supplies should last for 50 years

Gives off greenhouse gasses
Natural gas Methane gases trapped under seams of rock

Pipes put down through the ground


Easy to convert

Cleaner than oil/coal

Gas supplies should last for 70 more years

Gives off greenhouse gases
Nuclear (uranium) Produced from uranium, obtained from mining

Produced when atoms are split in nuclear reactors

Small amount of uranium gives off a lot of energy

Raw materials will last a long time

Doesn’t produce greenhouse gases

Nuclear reactors are expensive to build

Nuclear waste is expensive to store, radioactive and toxic

Leaks are fatal

Biomass Decaying plant / animal matter that provides energy. Cheap

Readily available


Gives off greenhouse gases

Large area of land takes up space to be used for food

Renewable energy


Renewable energy Process Advantages Disadvantages
Geothermal Ground source heat pumps heat from the ground into the house

These supply radiators / warmth systems

Cuts energy costs by 70%

£12000 to install

Infinite resource

Doesn’t give off greenhouse gases

Must be enough space

Expensive to build

Water may contain corrosive materials which could damage the pipes over time

Solar energy Cells produce electricity from the sun

Panels face the un, the fluid heats in the panels which produces hot water for use

£12000 to install

Fitted onto buildings, doesn’t take up extra space

Energy not used can be taken into the National Grid

Accounts for 35% of a house’s hot water

No running cost

No greenhouse gases

Expensive to install

May be visually polluting

Can’t be mass produced

Not efficient in countries where the sun is rare

Wind energy Turbines rely on the force of wind to power blades into generating electricity Wind turbines are quiet and efficient

No emissions

30% saved on electricity bill

Requires local wind speed of >60 m/s

Life expectancy of 20 years

Regular maintenance required

Visual pollution

Offshore turbines affect the migration of birds

Hydroelectricity Tidal energy provided by the movement of tides that moves the turbines to produce electricity

Power stations often in highland areas

No emissions

Cheap + infinite

Tidal barges can be used as bridges

Can produce large bodies of water for leisure

Only built in certain areas

Alters water flow

Build up of sediment may decompose to form methane

40-80 mil people globally have been displaced due to dam construction

Negatively affects wildlife

b. the global energy mix of energy consumption

Energy surplus – Countries that have more energy than they consume

Energy deficit – Countries that consume more than they produce

Carbon neutral  – Countries that run entirely on renewable fuels (eg. Iceland)

Reasons for mix of energy consumption

  • Population. India has to meet energy needs for 1.2 bn people and has to use whatever’s available. Iceland has only 320,000 people to supply to and therefore can use sources that aren’t in great supply
  • Income. India’s government lacks the capital reserves so they supply the people with the cheapest forms of energy. Iceland can more easily afford initial start up costs required to produce energy from renewable sources
  • Availability of energy supplies. India has 5.6 bn barrels of oil near the west coast. Iceland however doesn’t have fossil fuels so it imports everything.But they do have great geothermal energy potential and fast flowing rivers which could be useful for hydroelectric power

Reasons for surplus ( + )  and deficit ( – )

  •  + Often in LICs, incomes are low and therefore people can’t afford electricity
  • + In HICS, due to low population
  •  + Employment of green energy
  • – High populations in HICs
  •  – No employment of green energy due to lack of govt. power and funding
  •  – Many people able to afford electricity and the white goods requiring them

c. Exploitation of energy resources has varied impact on the environment because of waste production and the impact on both local and global environments

Non-renewable resource – CASE STUDY : Canada tar sands extraction.

  • 180 bn. barrels of bitumen to be refined into petrol are awaiting to be extracted
  • Located near the Athabasca River, Alberta, Canada
  • For many years thought not economicaly viable, however due to dwindling overseas supply, rising cost of oil extraction and development of new extraction technology has resulted in the commercial exploitation of these resources

Local impact

  • Surface mining has resulted in the loss of vegetation and surface soil and rock to be cleared leading to concerns of loss of habitats
  • Energy required for refinement provided by natural gas is enough to heat 3 mil homes
  • 6 barrels of water is required to extract 1 barrel of oil – 349mil cubic metres of water / year. Water that is contaminated has lead to deformities downstream

Global impact

  • Refining bitumen releases 5-15% more CO2 than refining crude oil increasing global greenhouse gas concentrations
  • Removal of surface vegetation, mostly spruce trees affects the amount of O2 in the atmosphere

Renewable resource – CASE STUDY : England’s wind farm industry (The London Array) 

  • 175 wind turbines generat 630 mega watts of electricity. Enough energy to power 470,000 homes or 2/3 of Kent homes
  • London Array is located off the coast of Ramsgate, Kent with plans to be the largest offshore wind farm
  • In 2009 the UK govt conculded that there is scope for between 5-7k offshore wind turbines to be installed
  • Estimated offshore wind alone will be able to meet Britain’s current demand for electricity 10 times over
  • This is in effort to cut carbon emissions by 80% in 2050
  • We currently generate 15% of our energy needs from renewable sources

Local impact

  • Turbine blades cause the death of 4 birds/turbine/year
  • Turbulence created can lead to temperature changes
  • Turbines produce noise which is slowly in the modern era being reduced to less than 40 db.

Global impact

  • Construction of blades and pillars produces greenhouse gases


4.4 Management of energy usage and waste

a. how energy is being wasted


  • Leaving lights on when not needed
  • Leaving phone chargers plugged in after phone has finished charging
  • Standby electronic equipment
  • No insulation – no double glazing, no loft/water tank/wall cavity insulation
  • Thermostats set to high

Energy used for domestic purposes account for 48% of Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions

  • Domestic consumption of electricity as people buy more homes
  • Heating is the largest consumer of electricity

Key figures of energy loss in the home

  • 25 % roof
  • 10% windows
  • 15 % draughts
  • 15% floor
  • 35% walls


  • Poorly serviced / maintained machines
  • Vibrations from machinery
  • Leaks from compressed air valves
  • British industry wastes £12.7 bn on energy/year
  • The estimated cost of leaving office devices alone is worth £8.66 mil

b. carbon footprints for countries at different levels of development

Carbon footprint  – the measure of impact that human activities have on the environment, also the weight of equivalent CO2 emitted by the activities of a single person


  • World wide average carbon foot print – 4,000 kg
  • Industrialisaing natioin carbon footprint – 11,000 kg
  • Average footprint for a person in thr UK – 9,700 kg

Primary footprint – Amount of energy used in house / number of people in house + journeys

Secondary footprint – Recreational activities + energy required to supply people with goods and services

c. possible solutions to energy wastage in the UK on a local, domestic and national scale

1 ) Domestic

i. New home building design

  • Hot water jackets save £20 a year
  • Reduce central heating by 1 degree c saves £70/year
  • Cavity wall insulation saves £90 /year
  • Floor insulation saves £45 /year
  • Loft insulation saves £45 /year
  • Condensing boiler saves £200/year
  • Double glazing saves £5,000/year
  • Energy saving lightbulbs save £50/year
  • No standby electrics save £37/year

Govt. enforces strict laws on including these energy saving things in new buildings to reduce energy waste

ii. older homes

Case study : Warm Front Scheme

  • Grants from UK govt up to £2,700 for heating and insulation

Case study : British Gas

  • Offers free wall insulation to it’s customers on benefits

Case study : Aberdeen County Council

  • Upgraded council housing by improving heating systems
  • Including CHP (combined heat and power) in 4 high rise buildings containing 288 flats
  • System recovers heat which is lost in the production of electricity and distributes hot water to heat buildings


2 ) Local Scale

Case study : Eastcroft District Heating Scheme, Nottingham 

  • Gaining energy by burning waste
  • Run by the Waste Recycling Group

150,000 tonnes of rubbish is sent here


  • Heating for 1,000 homes and public facilities (libraries, museums and the ‘Victoria Shopping Centre’)
  • Electricity for 5,000 homes
  • Cuts waste going to landfill
  • Plant recycles 3,000 tonnes of Iron and steel
  • Ash from incinerator used for road construction


  • Gases still released into atmosphere
  • Critics believe scheme encourages production rather than reduction of waste
  • Costs £1mil/year

3) Solutions at a national scale

Case Study: The UK parliament

  • 18 landfills in the uk – govt. opting for Energy From Waste
  • Committed to reduce govt. energy by 30% by 2020
  • 80% reduction on climate change levy. Tax on energy delivered to non-domestic users in the UK, aim to provide incentive to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions to meet energy efficiency targets
  • “SMART” energy meters allow business to monitor energy usage
  • UK govt. requires high standards of energy efficiency
  • Removal of planning permissions to build energy saving systems





Geography Topic 6: Population Change

3.1 population growth and distribution

a. the growth and distribution of global population

Population distribution – the pattern of where people live.

  • World population distribution is uneven –
  • Dense, crowded areas (Coasts of China)
  • Sparse, empty areas (Interior of Australia)

Population density = number of people who live in an area / area (km2)

2 things that cause population growth:

  1. Birth rate
  2. Death rate

Population = Births – Deaths

  • Positive population growth: more births than deaths (also known as natural increase)
  • Negative population growth: Less births than deaths (also known as natural decrease) This is a sign of a developed country, as the cost of raising a child increases severely

Factors that affect population (with examples)

Densely populated areas:

  • North USA – Good job opportunities
  • North Europe  – positive culture and tradition, highly developed super power nations, perfect temperatures for farming
  • Japan – stable government, coastline makes it easily accessible for trade
  • Ganges – good water supply, flatland and fertile soils
  • India – lack of education and lack of empowerment of women
  • Syria – becoming less dense – (OUTWARD MIGRATION) – due to war and conflict (2016, 4.6 mil evacuees)

Sparsely Populated areas:

  • Alaska and Greenland – sparse – hostile climate, difficult for agriculture
  • Himalayas – difficult to access, thin infertile soils, poor nation and restricting cultures and traditions
  • Amazon rainforest – limited jobs, high humidity
  • Central Africa – hostile climate, unstable government

b. reasons for changes to birth and death rates, including the study of the demographic transition model

  • Overall rate of population change depends on natural and migrational change
  • Positive: Natural change + migrational change = rates of population growth is high
  • Negative: Natural change + migrational change = High rate of population loss
  • If these changes are balanced, there is little to no change.
  • Population Gain.png

Demographic Transition Mode: Measures the rate of natural change, these changes underline a generalisation of development


c. the physical and human factors affecting the distribution and density of population in China and the UK

Case Study: CHINA

  • The population of china is concentrated on the eastern half of the country, 1,000 people /km ^2.
  • Sparse population belt to the West, 5 people per km^2
  • North West – another high population belt, around 25-250 people/ km^2

Links with relief (physical geography)

  • Eastern belt of dense population coincides with low lying, flat coastal areas with rich and fertile soils
  • Explains the northern belt of sparse population with high (over 5,000m) mountain ranges and desert atmosphere

Links with rainfall (physical geography)

  • East has >50cm/year  worth of rainfall (water in abundance)
  • Elsewhere <5cm/year worth of rainfall, often as snow

Links with economy/history (human geography)

  • Concentrated belt of population around the coast due to the country’s major trading ports – it’s centre of industry attracts people globally
  • Therefore coastal towns tend to be more modern due to the increasing economy, therefore more desirable than rural chinese countrysides


Links with relief and rainfall

  • Highlands and islands of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England are sparsely populated because of low rainfall and high relief
  • South East and North West as well as central Scotland densely populated, >600 people / km2!

Links with economy

  • Highest population coincides with coal fields due to the industrial revolution attracting huge amounts of industry
  • London is an urban and very wealthy city that attracts people because of jobs, education and leisure.

d. how two countries cope with contrasting population problems, one trying to increase and the other trying to decrease the birth rate



  • Start date: late 1980
  • End date: Early 2016
  • End product: 120 boys : 100 girls
  • China has the third largest economy
  • Urban population of China is 43%
  • Fertility rate prior to the 1CP: 2.9
  • Fertility rate post the 1CP: 1.7
  • Prevented a total of 400 mil births
  • Current population: 1.3 bn


  • To rein in China’s population (if not, there would be unprecedented population growth)
  • Speed up it’s development by limiting the number of births (number of mouths to feed)

Exceptions (Only a couple years towards the end of reign):

  • End products of 1CP (the ‘4-2-1’ problem, 4 grandparents, 2 parents, 1 child)
  • Those who lived in rural areas (Needed an extra pair of hands to help on the farm, especially if that first child was a girl)
  • Mentally ill/ disabled
  • First child = girl


  • Hefty fines after each child
  • Forced sterilizations
  • Pressure to abort pregnancies
  • Discrimination at work


  • Cash bonuses
  • Longer maternity leave
  • Preference for schools, nurseries and higher education
  • Access to houses and healthcare


  • Severe gender imbalance (120 boys : 100 girls)
  • An aging population
  • Diminishing workforce
  • Falling fertility rate – 6 births/women, 1970. 2 births/women, 1980
  • Generations of only children – ‘little emperor syndrome’ – spoilt children with no ability to share, work or be independent
  • The 4-2-1 problem
  • Corrupt means to achieve yearly raises for ‘family planning officials’
  • ‘Illegal children are seized by officials and are victims of child trafficking.
  • Trauma from those victims which suffered beatings, forced sterilizations and abortions
  • Historically male preference as a result: sex selective abortions, not registering female births and female infanticides
  • In rural areas, there are twice as many men (often nick named bachelor villages). Wives are expensive – $8,000 dowry.
  • Estimated 24mil men without wives by 2020 China
  • Fines of multiple children can be 10x the yearly wages in rural areas
  • Increased academic pressure on the single child – chinese schooling system is very competitive and often leads to suicide


  • Hope for dependents to economically active ratio will even out
  • Reminder that China as a country is still developing



  • Mid 1960s (1 child policy)
  • Policy reform 1960s –> onwards
  • Population density – 8,000 / km^2
  • Popuation now – 5.4 mil, (75% Chinese, 14% malay, 9% Indian and 2% other)


  • To reduce the rate of population growth as the prime minister was worried it might be overpopulated as it is a small island
  • Policy reform in 1980 July/August to grow the population as it was decreasing before


  • Tax rebates for each child
  • Cheap nurseries
  • Preferential acess to the best schools and housing
  • Pregnant women offered counselling to discourage abortions and sterilizations

On immigration:

  • Singapore used immigration as a way to increase population – but only residents can have 3 or more, non residents have to ‘stop at 2’, this is a means to preserve the genetic make up of the country.

3.2 characteristics of population

a. the characteristics of population on a local scale including age, gender, ethnicity, religious and occupational structure

Census – a census involves literally counting everyone in a country or region and recording their characteristics (age, gender, ethnic origin), usually every 10 years and is mandatory

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.42.00 AM.png

b. comparison of population pyramids for three countries at different levels of development

A population pyramid’s shape is controlled by:

  • Birth rate – the higher it is, the wider the base
  • Death rate – the lower it is, the taller the pyramid
  • Balance the two rates, and if births exceed deaths and vice versa.

LIC – Youthful population (eg. Indonesia)

  • Short top as very few people reach old age due to low life expectancy – high death rate, poor healthcare
  • High birth rate –  wide base

MIC – eg. Mexico

  • Narrow base as birth rate falls
  • MICs often categorized by falling birth rate and death rates (DTM stage 3)
  • It loses its triangle shape as life expectancy rises

HIC – Working population (eg. The UK)

  • Bulge in the working population
  • Low death rate – higher life expectancy
  • HICs have a low death rate – hence the narrow base
  • Also known as a ‘greying population’ – if the peak is heavy, that means life expectancy is high, advanced medicine

c. consequences of youthful and ageing populations

Young Dependants (Under 16s)

  • More people will need to be employed, housed and fed
  • Public money will need to be spend on nurseries, schools and clinics
  • Dependence on parents, challenge to support functioning growing families
  • Political priorities of a youthful population: Education and job creation

Elderly Dependants (Over 65)

  • An aging population need care homes, special housing and day centres
  • An aging population comes with a reduction in the workforce
  • A shortage of workers could greatly negatively impact the country – the hope is that more young people will work
  • Political priorities: pensions, healthcare and age descrimination

d. a study of the advantages and disadvantages of an ageing population within a country



  • 5.4 mil women
  • 3.9 mil men
  • 10% still working
  • 70% dependent on state benefits
  • 2/3 are widowed women, 1/3 are widowed men

Economic plus:

  • Those who are fit and able can cause a boom in the leisure business- helps the LICs as a tourist destination

Economic minus:

  • With fewer people in the workforce, they have to raise taxes to support pensioners
  • Present state pension needs to be raised

Social plus:

  • Retirement resorts allow old people to interact and are able to be geared up with things that specifically elderly people need

Social minus:

  • Who looks after the elderly? Now put away into care homes with pro care, rather than their kid’s love and care

Geography Topic 4: Coastal Landscapes

1.1 Coastal processes and landforms

a. types of wave: constructive and deconstructive

Deconstructive Waves 8d4062a22a73715eb6abc6e21c88bbbba5eebf8c.gif

  • High wave (>1m)
  • High wave energy
  • High wave frequency (10 waves/min)
  • Erodes material
  • Backswash > Swash

Constructive waves


  • Low wave (>1m)
  • Low wave energy
  • Low frequency (<10 waves / min)
  • Deposits material
  • Swash > Backswash

b. the impact of weathering, erosion and mass movement on the coast: cliffs and wave cut platforms, headlands and bays, caves, arches, stacks and stumps

Erosional Processes

  • Hydraulic action
  • Abrasion
  • Attrition

Weathering Processes

  • Biological weathering
  • Chemical weathering
  • Physical weathering

Mass Movement

  • Rock fall
  • Slumping
  • Soil creep

Wave cut platforms

Erosional landforms

Concordant geology

Discorncodrant geology

Wave refraction


impacts on geology, people and vegetation

  • Contamination of the water
  • Increased flooding
  • Change of typography of the land
  • The amount of sand on the beach affects the waves of the beach
  • Biological beings (plants, trees and animals) will be destroyed
  • Plants roots prevent vegetation
  • Houses, tourism and industrial sites are lost due to erosion on the coast
  • Economy is damaged for repairs

c. the process and impact of longshore drift on the coastline


d. the formation of beaches, spits and bars

  • Beaches –  formed by the deposition of sand, gravel, rocks and pebbles
  • Spits – formed by longshore drift moving material across the coastline. Spits form where material is deposited. The spit may grow to form a hook, providing a sheltered area. Behind that is a salt marsh, which plays host to many rare plants and animals
  • Bars – by the process of LSD, a spit will become a bar if the spit connects with the other headland. From there, it will form a lagoon.


1.2 coastal landforms are subject to change

a. differential rates of cliff recession due to factors such as fetch, geology and coastal management

Geology –

  • Coastline with less resistant rock are eroded at a rate of 1-2m/year, as opposed to more resistant rock which typically erode at only a couple mm/year.
  • Hard rocks form high, rugged and steep cliffs
  • Soft rocks form slighter, less steep cliffs and often have evidence of slumping


  • Vegetation prevents and protects against erosion

Sea level change

  • Submergent coastline – they have rising sea levels with drowned valleys (vias) and drowned glacial valleys (fjords)
  • Emergent coastline – falling sea levels with raised beaches and relict cliffs


  • The distance of sea over which winds blow and waves move towards the coastline
  • Longer fetch = more destructive waves = more erosion – an example of this would be the south west coast of England ‘getting the fetch’ from the atlantic ocean

Coastal management

  • If coastal defences protected weak geology, the rate of erosion would have been much slower

b. the effects of coastal recession on people and the environment

  •  Cliff recession has negative effects on both people and the environment

CASE STUDY: Durlston Bay, near Swanage – 1968-1988

  • Cliff recession up to 12m a year, ending up 25m away from an apartment block
  • Iconic park (Durlston Country Park) is home to 250 species of bird, their habitats are threatened by cliff recession which could affect the breeding of these rare species


  • Property loss by cliff recession is not yet covered by UK insurance
  • In the USA, about $80 mil is paid out for insurace due to coastal recession.

c. prediction and prevention of the effects of coastal flooding by forecasting, building design, planning and education

  • Prediction – Suggesting what flooding is likely to happen in the future
  • Prevention – Relates to the stopping of the impacts of flooding

Coastal flooding – Caused by strong winds and storms, increasing the height of waves and tide. The Environment Agency monitors the sea’s conditions 24/7, and the Storm Tide Forecasting service provides the Environment Agency with forecasts of flooding.

The Environment Agency has a 24 hour flood hotline and a website for precautionary advice, stating clearly the main threats to health during a flood (drowning, injuries), the stress of the event and cleaning up, serious danger caused by carbon monoxide fumes from the indoor use of generators and other fuel powered equipment

CASE STUDY: Thames Barrier (Thames Estuary 2010)

  • Who: The Environment Agency
  • What: Installing new flood walls along the river, plans to leave open space for flood plains
  • Why: Insurance companies claim that flooding will be 8-12 times more frequent by 2010

CASE STUDY: Indonesian province of Atech

  • 106 cases of tetanus, 20 deaths reported at the end of 2004, associated with the coastal flood after the tsunami.
  • Why: mixing sea water with sewage in drains and poor healthcare

CASE STUDY: Bangladesh, Coastal embankment project

  • What: This project led to the building of flood walls and 500 flood shelters to house 10,000 people. Local people are being taught on how to deal with a flood and flood warning systems are being put into place.
  • Future: ensuring that the roof of 1-2 storey buildings have accessible exterior stairways so people can escape rising waters.

d. the types of hard and soft engineering used on the coastline of the UK and the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques

  • Hold the line  – Hard engineering
  • Advance the line  – taking the coastline artificially further
  • Retreat the line  – Allowing erosion to happen (doing nothing)
  • Spectrum  – Variety of measures to protect the coastline. You must use a spectrum of measures or the defence will not be effective
  • Sacrificial coastline  – Allowing the coastline to erode for economical reasons and protecting another for the same reason


Soft Engineering Method Description Advantages Disadvantages
Beach replenishment Advancing the line by adding sand, rocks and pebbles – £5,000/m
  • Looks completely natural
  • Relatively cheap
  • Beaches are the best form of sea defence
  • Temporary noise pollution
  • Requires constant management
  • May affect plant and animal life
Cliff regrading Cliff cut back to be given a new, gentle slope to prevent slumping
  • Natural, can be covered in vegetation
  • Not effective alone
  • Homes may be disrupted
Managed retreat Doing nothing
  • cheap
  • Upsetting for landowners
Hard Engineering Method Description Advantage Disadvantage
Rip rap/ Rock armour Large rocks placed in front of a cliff – £300/m
  • Cost effective
  • Dissipates wave energy
  • Unattractive
  • Makes  the beach inaccessible
  • Not effective in storm conditions
Gabions Wire cages filled with stones (£11 /m)
  • Cheap
  • Rock cages absorb the energy
  • Wire  cages can break
  • Not as efficient as other coastal defences
Recurved Sea walls Seawalls protect the base of sand dunes (£3,000/m)
  • Reflects and absorbs wave energy
  • Visible – makes the residents feel safe
  • Effective for many years
  • Makes the beach accessible
  • Can be ugly
  • Very expensive
  • Can cause wave scouring if not manufactured properly
Groynes Horizontal planks of wood that stretch from the coast to the sea (£5, 000 each)
  • Prevents LSD
  • Cost effective
  • Keeps the beach in place for tourists
  • Unattractive
  • Geology of the cliff may change
Off shore reef Large concrete/ natural boulders off shore that alter wave direction and energy (about £2,000 / m)
  • Breaks waves offshore to reduce erosive power
  • Allows the sand to build up naturally
  • Difficult to install
  • Requires constant managementMay affect plant and animal life.

1.3 coastal management

a. how the coast is managed in a named location

Case Study: The Holderness Coast

  • Where:  North of England (Flamborough Head –> 8o K of coastline –> Spurn head spit)
  • When: 1991 –> onwards
  • What: Cliffs retreat at an average of 1-2m/year, losing about 8m of land in a single storm
  • Why: Strong prevailing winds create longshore drift, moving material from the North to South coast. Extremely powerful waves and poor geology (cliffs are made from boulder clay, eroded from hydraulic action, abrasion, corrasion and slumping)


Key area: Mappleton, 1991

  • £2mil spent on rock groynes and rock armour at the base of a cliff
  • Because of 50 high-end properties, large main road 30m from fast eroding coastline.
  • Properties now increase in value as they are no longer subject to erosion
  • Groynes stop LSD, but did increase erosion towards the south of Mappleton

Key area: Withernsea, 1975

  • £6.3 mil on rock groynes, seawalls and riprap
  • This is because Withernsea is of high economic value (particularly from tourists)

Key area: Bridlington, 2012

  • £1.4 mil sea wall
  • Residents feel much safer

Key area: North Yorkshire, 2001

  • £3mil sea wall
  • Stretch of coast exposed due to powerful waves, weak boulder clay
  • Has a mass value housing development

Key area: Spurn head spit

  • 2 groynes to stabilize the spit
  • Hooked spot at the bottom of the Holderness coast with a triple SSI salt marsh (SSI – special scientific interest)


Geography: River Landscapes (Topic 3)

2.1 river processes and distinctive landforms

a. drainage basin terms: watershed, confluence, tributary, source and mouthsmall.png

  • Watershed – Boundary of a drainage basin – this separates one basin from another
  • Confluence – point where two rivers meet
  • Tributary – Small stream and where the river joins another river
  • Source – Starting point of a river, often a spring or lake
  • Mouth  – Point where a river leaves its drainage basin, entering the sea.

b. The impact of weathering, erosion and mass movement on river landscapes

Weathering: The breakdown/decay of rocks by natural processes

Physical weathering – Freeze thaw / frost wedging

  • This happens when rainwater enters the cracks/gaps in a rock – freezes when temperatures drop below 0 degrees c, the water expands, exerting enough pressure on the rock to break and shatter

Chemical weathering – Acid rain, salt crystal growth

  • All rain is slightly acidic – air is polluted by factories and vehicles. When the rain falls on the rocks, acid reacts with weak minerals, causing them to dissolve rocks and decay
  • Salt crystal growth – chemical reaction between the seawater and rock

Biological weathering

  • Roots of plants, especially trees, grow into cracks in rock, splits it apart.
  • Water gets through the cracks
  • Animals past waste containing seeds


Erosion – wearing away/removal of material by chemical/physical means

  • Hydraulic action – This results from the force of water hitting the riverbed and banks, wearing them away, especially during high velocity flow
  • Abrasion – Caused by river picking up stones and rubbing them against the bed and banks of the channel in the flow – wearing the bed and banks away
  • Attrition  – Material carried along the river – eg. stones will become smaller and rounder as it travels downstream, colliding with other particles (like sand paper rounding of harsh edges)
  • Corrosion – Dissolving of rocks and minerals by river water flowing over them

Mass movement – Downslope movement of material due to gravity

  • Soil creep  – Individual particles of soil move slowly down rope (either by moisture of gravity) and collects at valley sides, river erodes this material
  • Slumping  – Bottom of valley side is eroded by the river, makes the slope steeper – valley side material slides down in a rotational manner, often triggered by saturation by rain. This lubricates the rock, making it heavier.

c. changes in characteristics from source to mouth of a river and its valley


Characteristic Definition Change from source to mouth
Width Distance from one bank to another Increases
Depth Distance from the surface of the water to the river bed Increases
Velocity How fast the water is flowing Increases
Discharge The rate at which water is moved through the river channel Increases
Gradient Steepness of the land Decreases

Upper course features:

  • Atmosphere – mushy, damp, windy and moist
  • Terrain – often moor land, exposed and mountainous. Higher rainfall and snow-relief rainfall
  • Fast flowing, high capacity for deposition, vertical erosion
  • Interlocking spurs, v-shaped valleys, waterfalls
  • Large rocks

Midcourse features:

  • Atmosphere – Hospitable for humans, usually domesticated for farming
  • Terrain – flat and manageable
  • Meanders – deposition (shallow – inside bend) Erosion (steep – outer band, aka river cliff)
  • Subject to flooding
  • Oxbow lakes

Lower course features:

  • Atmosphere – most hospitable
  • Terrain – flat, if urbanised, covered by impermeable rock for industry)
  • Dominant land use – farming (fertile land), primary housing, industry

d. formation of interlocking spurs, waterfalls, meanders, river cliffs, oxbow lakes, floodplains and levees

Interlocking spurs – upper course860b1d857a88b55171ebe33d3248e8e5fba5e8e2.gif

  • As water twists around obstacles, for example rocks and boulders because there is not enough velocity to cut through the obstacle, erosion undercuts outward bends in a zigzag formation
  • From lower down, the interlocking of the spurs of land creates bends and locks the view of the valley.

Waterfalls – upper course / mid course


River cliffs – mid course


Meanders + oxbow lakes – mid course 027_bitesize_intermediate2_geography_riverforming_meander3steps_546.jpg

Flood plains – mid/lower course e17010d1384476517ef8b30fcff940faefe099ba.png

Levees – Mid/lower courselarge.png

2.2 – flooding and flood prevention

a. the physical and human causes of river flooding

Physical causes of flooding 

  • Intense rainfall – when rainfall is too fast to fully allow its infiltration into the ground, it goes quickly into the channel as it flows across the surface
  • Cloud bursts (Sudden, intense rainfall)
  • Snowfall promotes rapid thawing – frozen rivers and ground, the temperature changes and the snow and ice defrosts. Water gets fed back into the ground and river with no infiltration time
  • Hot weather ‘bakes’ (hardens) the ground, the ground is no longer permeable to water
  • The laying of impermeable rocks like granite doesn’t let water infiltrate the ground – rainwater runs off surface into the channel very quickly
  • Steep valley sides make the water run downhill, water hits the ground and consequently enters the rivers quicker.

Human causes of flooding

  • Deforestation – trees (vegetation) slows down the time it takes for rainfall to reach the ground (lag time). Vegetation collects stores and uses water from the drainage basin. More lag time makes more water reach the channel, more flooding
  • Urbanisation (building on a flood plain) – covering ground with hard, impermeable man made substances speeds up lag time
  • Drainage systems within towns and cities alo water to flow back into the river channel quicker
  • We don’t maintain drains enough, they’re ineffective at increasing lag time
  • Climate change

b. the effects of river flooding on people and the environment

Effects on people

  • Loss of belongings
  • Damage to property
  • Disruption to transport
  • Disease and illness (trench foot, respiritory problems)
  • Stagnant water breeds mosquito and chlorella cells
  • Contamination of water supply
  • Animal, crops, economic and human life loss

Effects on envirnonment

  • Landslides
  • Soil contamination by sewage
  • Vegetation destroyed (herbs and medicinal plants)
  • Drowning animals
  • Soil erosion


CASE STUDY: Boscastle Floods, 2004

Causes of the flood:

  • Small drainage basin – large volume of water collects quickly
  • Steep valley sides – surface runoff travels quickly
  • River Jordan passes 100m underground  – ground already saturated with water, new influx of water cannot infiltrate
  • Boscastle situated at the confluence of river Jordan and river Valency – less space to cope with large volume of water
  • Buildings on a floodplain – water can’t infiltrate the floodplain
  • Bridges over rivers – bottlenecks the river channel, increasing the risk of blockage
  • Low drainage density -not enough rivers to drain the area
  • Not enough channels – can’t take the water

Short term effects of the flood:

  • Over 50 cars carried out to sea by 3m wall of water
  • Clean up operation (village + community hall)
  • Large damage to property

Long term effects of the flood:

  • 2 months after the flood, still no public parking
  • Tourist industry greatly affected (Main source of income)

Reduction of effects by future planning:

  • Building on stilts – above ground level, less possessions damaged
  • Electrical sockets to be moved up
  • Making doors out of concrete rather than wood with chemical water proofing
  • Using waterproof plaster in buildings
  • Replacing heavy doors with removable, possibly buoyant ones

c. prediction and prevention of the effects of river flooding by forecasting, building design, planning and education


  • River water levels are monitored by the Environment Agency
  • If levels rise to a dangeorus point, they are to warn and evacuate
  • Online maps show the areas of risk
  • Computer stimilation models

Building Design

  • Ceramic tiles and rugs instead of fitted carpets
  • Raise the height of electrical sockets to about 1.5m above ground
  • Fit stainless steel and plastic kitchens instead of chipboard
  • Position essential parts of heating and ventilation upstairs
  • Fit non-return valves on drains and water inlet pipes
  • Replace wooden windows and door frames with synthetic ones
  • In LICs, build houses onstilts


  • Land zoning


  • Leaflets, advertisments in newspapers and tv
  • Social media and websites
  • Offering helpline services
  • Drills and exercises

d. the types of hard and soft engineering used to control rivers in the uk and the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques


Hard Engineering Technique Description Advantages Disadvantages
Embankments (Levees) Raised river banks
  • Can be sued as pathways
  • Effective at stopping bank erosion
  • Earth embankments provide habitats
  • Concrete embankments are ugly
  • If flood water goes over capacity, it will cause greater damage
Channelisation Deepening/widening/straightening of a river channel
  • Effective and long lasting
  • Unnatural, looks bad
  • Greater damage downstream
Flood relief channels Extra channels built next to/away from rivers, diverting floods away from settlements
  • Can be used for water sports
  • Relief channels can take the excess water so the river won’t overflow it’s banks
  • Requires a large amount of land
  • Extremely expensive
  • Unsightly
Dams Built along the course of a river to control the discharge. Water is held back and released later in a controlled way
  • Water stored in a reservoir – hydroelectric power source
  • Recreational use
  • Highly expensive
  • Settlements and agricultural land loss
  • Sediment trapped behind a dam wall leads to further erosion downstream
Floodwalls Vertical barrier usually made from fabricated concrete
  • Can be used in areas where space is limited
  • Easily constructed
  • Has to be assembled well so water doesn’t get into the joints
Storage areas Man made washland
  • Natural
  • Doesn’t damage the environment
  • Needs a large area
  • Can only be utilised when the river has flooded

Soft Engineering Technique Description Advantages Disadvantages
Floodplain zoning Authorities allocate areas of land to different uses according to level of risk
  • Cheap way of reducing flooding
  • Sustainable
  • No surface run off – less likely to cause flooding
  • Enforcement is hard to control in LICs
  • Resistance to the restriction on where to build
Washlands Areas on the floodplain naturally allowed to flood
  • Cost effective
  • Potential site for birds and plants
  • Silt will enrich the soil
  • Productive land could be wasted and turned into marshland
  • Large areas can’t be built on
Flood warning systems Rivers are carefully monitored – if alarm rises downstream residents will be notified
  • Cheap, electronic
  • Gives people a way to prepare and evacuate
  • Sirens have to be tested annually
  • Might not have enough time to prep
Afforestation Planting trees in the catchment area to intercept rainfall
  • Relatively low cost option
  • Improves quality of environment
  • Sustainable
  • Coniferous trees make the soil acidic
  • Dense tree population spoils natural landscapes
  • Bushfire risk may increase

2.3 – river management

a. how a river is managed in a named location

CASE STUDY: River Nene, Northampton

  • River Nene frequently floods
  • Heavy rain, April 1998 caused the river Nene and Grand Union Council to overflow, causing the death of 2 people
  • 2002, the Environment Agency completed a £6.8 mil project to protect the hardest hit areas of Northampton, followed by 2003, 2007 where further works were carried out

Weedon, Northampton

  • 2002, £2mil 450m clay flood embankment across the river valley (upstream of NH)
  • Flood storage area behind embankment, regulated by a culvert
  • Embankment landscaped for aquatic plants and animals

Upton Square

  • Upperclass housing estate built above the level of the floodplain – making it safe to flood

Four Cotton, St. James

  • 2003, flood warning systems upgraded
  • 2 hours warning via text
  • Within 2 hours, residents can move valuables and furniture and rugs upstairs, as well as pick a designated spot to go.


  • Flood retention reservoir nearby the aquadrone

Foot Meadow

  • 4m high walls installed to protect housing industry and inns
  • Wash land created (an open area for the river to flood to, diverts the flow away from properties on the other side of the river)
  • Debris cleared so river velocity can increase –> Rainwater taken away quicker
  • Gabion baskets protect riverbanks

Upton, Sixfields

  • 2007, £8mil spent developing a washland – effective diversion from the river Nene to reduce the risk of flooding downstream
  • Major road – upton way – A45, built on embankments 6m high
  • Upton Way embankment joins up to specially built floodgates to an area where 1.2 mil cubic meters of water can be stored
  • River channel capacity increase – building earth embankments 10m from the river, aesthetically improved by planting trees


CASE STUDY: Blandford Forum

  • River stour, Dorset, England
  • 1979, May, 30 damaged properties. December, 110 damaged properties

Causes of the flood 

  • Floods from West –> east
  • Upstream – town covered in impermeable clay
  • Dense network of streams causes water level to rise quickly
  • Deforestation increases lag time
  • Narrow floodplain
  • 5cm of intense rainfall over 24 hours


  • Total cost: £1.45mil ,saving them from £1.6 mil worth of damage
  • 2.5m flood wall
  • 1m deep relief channel
  • Southside flood bank protects a brewery, industry and housing
  • Washland on the south allows water to flood with minimal impact
  • Pumping station at Langton meadows directs water further downstream

Geography: Challenges for the Planet (Topic 2)

7.1 – the causes, effects and responses to climate change

a. how and why climate has changed since the last ice age

  • From 10,000 years ago, globally, temperatures have risen to 6° c
  • Within this time, there have been fluctuations – after the last ice age, temperatures have risen rapidly over the past 2,000 years
  • Warm periods interrupt cold periods and vice versa
  • 19th Century Industrial Revolution – biggest change to greenhouse gas emissions in history

Changes in the Earth’s Orbital Geometry: 

  1. Earth orbits the sun on a slightly variable tilt
  2. It wobbles on it’s axis
  3. Angle of the tilt varies

All three of these afters affects the amount of energy received by the Earth from the sun, often affecting global temperatures by about 1°c. This is known as the Milankovitch mechanism, and is the main reason for the ice ages. 

Changes in Solar Output

Energy transmitted by the sun varies in small amounts, but can have large impacts on global temperatures. these factors may increase/decrease global temperatures and can cancel themselves out.

Catastrophic Events 

Tectonic activity

  • Movement of continents caused by plate movements affects the pattern of global atmospheric and ocean circulation
  • It slowly changes the climate by causing the wind and ocean movements to differ

Volcanic activity

  • Volcanic activity and collisions between the Earth and extraterrestrial objects result in large quantities of material being ejected into the Earth’s atmosphere – this is the link between the events of the dinosaur extinction
  • Volcanic eruptions release large amounts of ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere
  • These gases act as a cloak and reduces the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface
  • CASE STUDY: Laki Volcanic Eruption 1783
  • Millions of tonnes of poisonous gas sprayed over the air over Iceland
  • 27 km of volcanic vents poured out liquid (probably pyroclastic flow) for 8 months – this is known as a fissure explosion
  • 13km ² of material over 500 km² over southern Iceland
  • Effects – killed off vegetation, animals due to starvation
  • Much of Europe blocked from solar radiation, reducing global temperatures

b. causes of climate change on a local to global scale, including greenhouse gasses


The Greenhouse Effect – 

  1. Sunlight passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the earth’s surface
  2. Infrared radiation is given off by Earth
  3. Most escapes to outer space, allowing Earth to cool
  4. However some infrared radiation is trapped by gases in air
  5. So, we get the enhanced greenhouse effect – increasing levels of CO2, increase the amount of heat retained by the sun, causing the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface to heat up.

The main greenhouse gases:

  • Water vapour (clouds)
  • Methane (cows, waste)
  • Carbon dioxide (Fossil fuels)
  • Nitrous oxide (industry)


Climate change is being encouraged by deforestation, aerosols and fridges with CFC, oil and petrol and engines, greenhouse gases and fossil fuels

  • Methane – livestock produce methane in indigestion (15.20%)
  • Rice fields produce up to 20% of the global methane
  • Landfill sites – 15%


  • Carbon dioxide – released by the burning of fossil fuels (Oil, coal and natural gas)
  • As trees store CO2 as they photosynthesis, as they are deforested they cannot take CO2 out of the system

PC: Wiki


Population increase –

  • More transport on the road (78 cars/100 people in the USA) = more need for petrol
  • More rubbish = more waste = more methane
  • More food required = more paddy fields, increased levels of methane, more forest cleared for cattle and other livestock = more CO2 and methane
  • More energy required = More burning of fossil fuels

On car ownership –

  • Car ownership is seen as status, a dream for the working class of developing countries, often because their public transport isn’t reliable, safe or clean
  • These developing countries will not listen to HICs slowing the rate of development because of global warming
  • Businesses that want to market to this new developed nation will add to CO2 emissions by the creation of cheaper cars eg. Tata Motors – cars are available for £1,500

c. negative effects that climate change is having on the environment and people

3 main negative effects:

  • Sea level rise – temperature increase causes ice sheets to melt and raise sea level. Seawater expands in warm temperatures
  • Failing crop yield – Changes in rainfall and temperature will affect the type of crops grown as well as the crop yield
  • Retreating glaciers – Glaciers are retreating because of temperature caused by climate change. Melting ice affects ocean currents – the gulf stream could be pushed forward (South) making Europe even colder

Impact on food production: 

  • As the natural environment is affected, so will global crop yield.
  • Most important foods: rice and wheat will only be able to be grown in distinct regions, small number of countries responsible for large populations of wheat crop
  • Wheat ‘belt’ countries such as the USA, Canada and Russia are likely regions to experience climate change which could impact citizen’s food welfare
  • If climate change reduces harvest significantly, food prices will rise and LIC and MIC populations will be badly affected
  • Changes in climate may lead to changes in disease – eg. Malaria. Mosquitoes are now able to habilitate warmer climates

Impact on sea level 

  • Caused by 2 processes: melting of land based ice sheets, expansion of seawater as temperatures incline
  • Effects – threatens the survival of small, low lying islands such as the maldives
  • Impacts on all Coastal regions
  • Low lying deltas and floodplains may be contaminated by seawater


  • More storms and flooding – London is protected by the Thames barrier but could be breached by a storm surge and London could be flooded
  • Animal and plant species living in high mountains could be extinct due to warmer temperatures
  • Rising temperatures could lower snowfall, making the already fragile Scottish ski industry disappear
  • Tropical diseases such as malaria could spread to the UK
  • Warmer climate may make growing traditional cereals hard to grow, impacts the economy and food chain
  • Southern Britain may experience draughts and water shortages

CASE STUDY: BANGLADESH – ‘A drowning country’


  • Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change with increased tropical cyclones and river flooding
  • 80%, (634 mil) people are subject to flooding as 80% of Bangladesh is below sea level
  • They are threatened by climate change but do not contribute to it – the GDP/person is $1900, the water rising is 1 ft / year

Impacts of climate change on Bangladesh

  • Nov 2007 – Super Cyclone Sidr (South of Bangladesh)
  • Wind speeds approx 200km/hr
  • Affecting 7mil
  • Loses would have been higher, if there were no early warnings

Effects –

  • Agricultural areas ruined by salt water
  • Sewage systems are disrupted
  • Bangladesh will need $3.5 bn over the next 5 years to strengthen its defences as well as maintaining them – the HICS are not willing to help
  • Cyclones are more common because of the increase in water temperature
  • Villages lost land, food and family members – no drinking water, journeys are up to 5 times times a day
  • Flooding during the dry season becoming more common
  • MOre water flows through Bangladesh than the whole of Europe combined. The water will only increase as the ice melts, the only way to get rid of water is by dredging sediment, dredging is good but expensive and short term
  • In one storm, an entire village can be lost
  • Water borne diseases are on a rampant rise. Always wet and cold, not hygienic
  • Education systems will suffer from a lack of school buildings and lack of transport

d. responses to climate change from a local to global scale

Global scale I – Governments of the world

  • 1992 – 3-14 June, Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro 
  • Goal: Achieve environmental and sustainable development for countries
  • Result: Agenda 21, voluntary plan of action for sustainable development. Carried out on a local national and global spectrum, subject to alteration during the course of UN meetings.


  • 1997 – Kyoto Conference
  • Result: Kyoto Protocol
  • Aim: Commitment by the parties to internationally reduce CO2 emissions in response to rising 1992 carbon emissions.
  • Stats:
  • 192 parties taken part
  • 37 industrial nations cut their greenhouse gas emissions
  • 100 developing countries excused from the protocol eg. China and India. Australia refused to join
  • Feb 2005, protocol to take effect
  • COP  18, Doha – extends protocol 2020


  • 2007 – Bali COP conference 13
  • Goal: shares vision, mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing
  • Aim: Bali road map document – key organ to reaching a sustainable future
  • Kep parts – deforestation
  • Forest managements
  • Technology for developing countries
  • Establishment of adaptation fund board


  • 2010 Copenhagen conference (COP15)
  • Aim: Achieve a political rather than a legal agreement within the leaders of COP15
  • Advance technology, finance for less developed countries and tougher forestry restrictions and decrease global temperature by 2°c


  • 2015 Paris COP 21
  • Aim: To achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate


Why didn’t the USA implement the Kyoto Protocol?

  • In 1997, facing an economic hitch and energy insufficiency
  • By the US reducing greenhouse gases, it will have to use much more natural gas, which the US doesn’t have
  • For the purpose of political face, economy and successful industry
  • Not to be hindered by spending money on ecological purposes

Global scale ii – Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

Case study: Greenpeace

Aim –

  • To combat climate change
  • Forest destruction
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Oceans destruction
  • War and disarmament
  • Melting Arctic
  • Fracking


  • Through campaigns and charity work to battle against the use of fossil fuels
  • They aim to equip everybody with sustainable transport by encouraging the use of public transport, cycling and walking

local scale i – schools

Case study: KLASS 

  • Positive – taught from a young age to save energy, paper and recycle. Majority of things online to cut paper wastage
  • Negative – 1,680 laptops / ipads which will need to be replaced in 2 years, adds to the waste of the community as a whole. Energy to power devices and internet increases CO2 emissions as a whole

local scale ii – local councils

Case study: UK govt

  • UK govt slowly influencing smaller towns and cities within the UK by the media
  • UK department of transport decided to improve local infrastructure – more eco-friendly. 2/3 of all journey are under 5 miles
  • They encourage communities to walk or cycle this distance

local scale iii local interest groups

Case study: ‘Manchester is my planet’

  • Created in 2005 to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050
  • To contribute the social + economic wealth enhancing the life of somebody who lives in Manchester
  • Decisions and funds are done on a local basis and have achieved a significant change

7.2 – Sustainable development for the planet

a. definitions and interpretations of sustainable development

Sustainable development: development that meets the need to the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Although all companies have to have sustainability statements, all companies exist to make profit

b. the concept of sustainable development

i. large companies and their policies for sustainable development

Case study: Interface Inc. (Carpet company)

  • 7 goals to improve environmental performance
  • Eliminating waste
  • Benign emissions
  • Using renewable energy resources
  • Closing the loop
  • Using resource efficient transport
  • Creating a culture that integrates sustainability principles
  • Creating a sustainability-based business model

Case study: Unilever

  • Unilever tea, Kenya is looking at how to use wood from eucalyptus trees to dry picked tea leaves. This would increase tea production and a reduction of fuel wood
  • Changing tree planting policy – increase density, coppicing (cutting back the tree to stimulate tree growing) and increase wood supply by 15%
  • Improve wood burning techniques – eg. leave the wood to dry longer, more efficient boilers this would reduce wood consumption by 25%

Case study: Google

  • Google gives its employees grants to buy environmentally friendly cars
  • 9,200 solar panels have cut dependence on fossil fuels by 30% in the Californian Google Campus
  • Incentives to cycle to work to profit charities

ii. management of transport in urban areas


What does traffic affect/do/create?

  • Traffic congestion
  • Pollution
  • Production of greenhouse gasses
  • Health problems
  • Airborne pollution causes acid rain, destroying buildings

In order for people to want to use public transport, it must be

  • Clean
  • Efficient (Many people can use it at once, it arrives on time)
  • Cheap
  • Safe

Public transport options (public)

  • Busses
  • Trains
  • Trams
  • Taxis

Schemes to reduce cars on the road

  • Road tax to reduce engine size – hybrids and electric cars get discounted
  • Making public transport more appealing – busses get priority lanes, therefore they can beat the congestion. They also reduce congestion as they cut off the number of cars emitting emissions
  • Park and ride scheme – In Canterbury, it is £3 (In London, £10) to park on the outskirts and cycle within town. This reduces traffic CO2 emissions in the centre. It provides tourists an option for cheaper, safer parking
  • Cycle hire: Boris Bikes – Easy to pay (by credit card, accountability). Encourages people to cycle and reduces congestion
  • Congestion charging (£10 in London) if they enter the zone. Has reduced traffic levels by 21% emd emissions as a whole to 12%.
  • Lift sharing – encouraging people to car share by getting priority lanes

iii. effects of resource extraction from tropical rainforests and their management

CASE STUDY: Oil extraction from the Oriente Region, Ecuador 

  • This includes deforestation for pipes, roads and unlined oil pits
  • From 1964–> now
  • The Oriente Region in Ecuador is the most biodiverse place in the world – billions of symbiotic relationships. It provides medicines (periwinkle flower cures childhood leukemia) trees (Giant ecosystems within giant Cebo trees) and vast varieties of animals, birds and ecosystems

Key oil extraction companies:

  • Texaco petroleum
  • Oleoducto de crudos pesados (OCP)
  • Assorted private oil companies

Key against oil extraction foundations:

  • WWF (NGO)
  • Indigenous tribes – Hourani, Shuar…. – these indigenous tribes will suffer extinction if their food sources die as a result of our actions
  • Nature conservancy (NGO)

Consequences of deforestation

  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Forests could be overloaded with CO2 as there is not enough trees to absorb it
  • Action of deforestation will contribute to the buildup of greenhouse gases
  • Soil leaching
  • Indigenous tribes become environmental refugees

Effects of oil extraction

  • Hydrocarbons in water are 200-300 more concentrated than permissible for human consumption – indigenous tribes have been told otherwise
  • Miscarriages and illnesses amongst the Huaorani people are becoming more frequent
  • Rare plants and animals are doomed for extinction
  • Stomach cancer is 5x more frequent
  • Unlined waste pits allow oil to seep into the soil ,damaging the environment and those who live around it.



Geography: Map Skills (Topic 1)

Topic 1: Basic skills

a. Label and annotate diagrams, maps, graphs and sketches

Label – simple indication of what something is

Annotation – Adding notes to explain what something is

Key Terminology

  • Quantity (Fewer/more)
  • Pattern (Fairly/quite/very)
  • Where (North/East/South/West)
  • Shape (Clustered/linear/dispersed)

Trends on the graph

Overview – What happens overall

Variation – Always increase/specific changes

b. Draw sketches from photographs and whilst infield

  • Draw a frame of the size you want the sketch to be
  • Lightly divide the frame into quarters as guidelines
  • Draw in features (rivers, coastline and hills)
  • Add appropriate labels and annotations

c. Use and interpret aerial, oblique and satellite photos for different landscapes

  • Oblique aerial – Aerial photos taken by a plane at an angle less than 180
  • Vertical aerial – aerial photos taken directly above
  • Satellite photo – an image taken from space

Physical features –

  • Relief – you need to state contour patterns, landforms, steepness of slope and the specific height of the slope
  • Valleys – Shape, gradient and the height of the valley
  • Woodland – location, how large the woodland is, plantations (What type of wood – coniferous or deciduous trees?) scattered/dispersed?
  • Rough pasture – location and amount
  • Site – height of slope, landforms, water supply and resources
  • Situation – relate to site relief, drainage and settlements
  • Shape – linear? nucleated? dispersed?
  • Drainage – number of rivers, direction of flow, width of the river, straight/winding, tributaries, lakes, salt marshes and floodplains


Topic 2: Cartographic skills

2.1 atlas maps

a. recognise and describe distributions and patterns of both human and physical features

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 8.10.10 PM.png

Types of site –

  • Lowest bridging point – the lowest bridging point of a river, often where it meets the mouth (sea)
  • Coastal town – many towns, eg. Brighton are situated by the coast for previous communication, industry and now tourism
  • Spring line settlements – site on springs at the base of hillsg-geo-rocksl-dia08.gif
  • Gap town – Town scited on either side of a river
  • Defensive site – place (usually a castle) needing to be defended within a meander (moat), on top of a hill


Describing relief (shape of the land)

  1. General state (flat/hilly) -contour patterns
  2. Specific height above sea level and the anomalies
  3. Name specifically where the gentler slopes are and the steeper slopes exist
  • Uniform slope – contours decrease evenly
  • Convex slope – contours gather closer together at the bottom (height increasing rapily, slope is steep) Further apart towards the top – this shows that the slope is more gentle.
  • Concave slope – contour lines further apart at the bottom, closer towards the top
  • V-shaped valley (ON RIVERS) – distance between contours is regular
  • U-shaped valley ( ON RIVERS ) – distance between the contours is regular, contours increase quickly (steeper slope)

Describing drainage

  1. Name the shape and the main rivers that drain the area
  2. Describe the sea if necessary
  3. Where the river is, using 4 and 6 point grid references

Describing woodland distribution

  1. 6 or 4 grid reference
  2. Name of the woodland
  3. Scattered/clustered/evenly spread/sparsely distributed
  4. Elevation above sea level
  5. Ridgeline and rivers
  6. Type of woodland (coniferous or deciduous?)

2.2 sketch maps

a. recognise/draw/label/annotate/understand and interpret sketch maps

  • Perspective (N/S/E/W, oblique, aerial, side, top)
  • Scale
  • Location
  • Label and annotate (key if needed)

2.3 ordnance survey maps 1:50,000 scale

a. recognise symbols using a key, four figure and six figure grid references, straight line and winding differences

  • Vertical lines on an OS map are northings
  • Horizontal lines on as OS map are Eastings
  • To give a 4 figure grid reference: first two digits are the Eastings, last two refer to the northings
  • To give a 6 figure grid reference: first three digits are earrings, last two are northings
  • go ‘along the corridor’ (go along eastings line) and ‘up/down the stairs’ (go along the northings line

b. demonstrate an understanding of direction using an eight point compass


c. demonstrate an understanding of cross sections

  • Cross sections show the topography of the land
  • Height is measured in 10M intervals


d. complete and annotate cross section diagrams, indicating height, degree of slop and simple contour patternsScreen Shot 2016-07-27 at 9.45.57 AM.png

e. recognise and describe patterns of vegetation, land use and communications

  • Vegetation – Coniferous/deciduous trees, orchards, scrubs, roughs, grassland and marshes
  • Land use – golf courses, residential areas, roads, allotments. Location, shape and pattern
  • Communications – Canals, rivers, railways and roads. You must know the difference between A+B+C roads, motorways and rough tracks.

f. describe and identify site, situation and shape

Describing site – A land that a settlement is built on

  1. Height of the land
  2. Direction it slopes
  3. Any prominent landforms, eg. meanders, floodplains and valleys

Describing situation – Human features around the settlement

  1. Where they are on the map (Use four figure grid references)
  2. Physical features which can be seen all around it, like woods, rivers, seas and valleys – use six figure if applicable
  3. Human features which can be seen, like roads, railways and other settlements. Definitely use six figure grid references

Describing shape – the shape of the settlement


g. recognise and describe distributions and patterns of both human and physical features

See Topic 1, Part C

h. infer human activity from map evidence, including tourism

  • If a map has a lot of tourist symbols, for example caravan parks or spot height points, you can infer that his area is of tourist attraction
  • If there are large fields and isolated/dispersed settlements, you can assume the land is used for agriculture

i. use maps in association with photographs, sketches and written directions

Draw a grid around the specified map points and identify the key features of the photo using the map

Topic 3: Graphical skills

a. construct and complete a variety of graphs, charts and maps

  • Bar graph – shows discontinuous data
  • Histograms – show discontinuous data as well, but there are no gaps in between bars
  • Compound bar graphs – show discontinuous data but with the things stacked on top of each other
  • Line graphs – show continuous data – you can have compound line graphs as well
  • Population pyramids – show population
  • Flow line maps – Show the movement of people from one place to another with quantity
  • Isolines, Rose diagram, Located bar graph, Pictograph, Triangular graphs

b. interpret a variety of graphs, including those located on maps and topological diagrams

  • Topological diagrams – maps simplified to show certain data, often key features for example London’s Underground map
  • Choropleth maps – using shading to show certain values
  • Dispersion graphs – show a range of data
  • Scatter graphs – shows if there’s a relationship between two types of data (Positive correlation, upwards direction. Negative correlation, downsloping direction. No correlation, dots scattered everywhere)
  • Radar graph – Shows multiple axis on the same scale, looks like a kite or a spider web

Topic 4: Geographical Inquiry Skills

a. identify, analyse and evaluate geographical questions, hypothesis and issues

  • Hypothesis – testable statement
  • Issue – The individual, ‘personal’ story about the topic that needs to be captured

b. establish appropriate sequences of investigation and follow appropriate enquiry approaches

In order to test a hypothesis, you must

  1. Identify the size and numbers, gather your facts and hypotheses
  2. Investigate the deeper context
  3. Develop a method to solve or prove your hypothesis

c. extract and interpret information from sources

You must

  1. Say what you see – the overall impression
  2. Look for patterns, trends or groups in the information
  3. Look for anomalies in he data

d. describe, analyse and interpret evidence e. draw and justify conclusions from evidence

  • Evidence is just a suggestion, it does not prove anything
  • Not all sources are relatable – keep in mind to say if the source is primary or secondary

e. draw and justify conclusions from evidence

All conclusions are likely to be:

  • Partial – subject to bias because of limited evidence or poor evidence selection
  • Tentative – because of limited evidence

f. evaluate methods of data collection, presentation and analysis of evidence

evaluating requires a critical view of your strengths and flaws.

Topic 5: ICT skills

a. collect and annotate photographs and satellite images

  1. Identify what is happening
  2. What impact does this activity have
  3. How the impact of this activity may be reduced

b. use databases to find census and population data

Census – Official count or survey of a congregation

Topic 6: Geographical Information System

a. capture and represent geographical information in systems such as aegis

b. use web mapping sites, such as google earth and multimap


Geography : Plate Tectonics (Topic 5)

Link to Quizlet here.

3.1 – Location and characteristics of tectonic activity

a. World distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 8.14.27 PM.png


Tectonic plates occur in bands. A linear band of earthquakes down the centre of the Atlantic is called the Pacific Ring of Fire.

b. Reasons why earthquakes and volcanoes occur (through the explanation of plate tectonics and hotspots)

Plate movement causes 3 things:

– Tsunamis (earthquakes under the ocean)

– Volcanic erruptions

– Earthquakes

Plate Tectonic Theory:

  1. The earth’s surface is divided into small and large slabs of rock (earth’s crust)
  2. Plates ‘float’ on magma in the mantle
  3. This movement is caused by convection currentsplate2-s9t7h6.png

2 Types of crust:

Oceanic crust: 5-10 km thick, high density material eg. Basalt. An example of oceanic crust is the Pacific Plate.

Continental crust: 25-100km thick, low density material eg. granite. An example of continental crust is the Eurasian plate.

Asthenosphere: below the mantle

Lithosphere: everything above the mantle

Formation of Earthquakes:

  1. Plates move. Initially it is slow – few cm/year
  2. Huge stresses that the plates are under by convection currents make the rock break suddenly as tension is released from the crust
  3. This sudden break causes brief but violent shakng of the ground above.
  4. This violent shaking is the earthquake

Formation of Volcanoes:

  1. Molten magma rises through the cracks of weaknesses in the Earth’s crust, often at hotspots such as Hawaii, or destructive and constructive plate boundaries.
  2. Pressure builds inside the Earth
  3. When this pressure is released as a result of plate movement, magma explodes causing a volcanic eruption
  4. The lava cools to form a new crust
  5. Over time, after several eruptions, the rock builds and a volcano forms.

c. Characteristics of convergent, divergent and conservative plate boundaries.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.36.05 PM


d. The measurement of earthquake magnitude (the Mercalli and Richter scales) and diagrams, showing characteristics of focus and epicentre.


  • Energy is released from the earthquake by seismic waves (Waves spread from the focus)
  • Waves are felt strongest at the epicentre but the loose energy (become less strong) the further away you get – hence the most damage that is done is at the epicentre
  • There are two different scales to measure earthquake magnitude:
  • Richter scale – Measures the strength of energy by the amount of energy released, measured by a seismograph and recorded by a seismometer
  • Mercalli scale – measures the impact of a scene by it’s visual damage, measured in Roman numerals so there is no confusion between the Richter and Mercalli scale.


3.2 – Management of the effects of tectonic activity

a. Reasons to why people continue to live in areas of tectonic activity

CASE STUDY: California, USA

  • Population densities have build up over centuries and have many advantages to continue expanding
  • California has a highly developed tech industry (with big names such as MIT Uni, Apple and Google) and offer many HIC jobs
  • 23,000 factories employ 700,000+ people
  • Standard of living is incredibly high – the GDP/ Capita is $60,000 (2014)
  • Attractive landscape and pleasant climate – picturesque coasts provide world renoun surf spots, highest temperature in the summer is 30°c and lowest in winter is 10°c. Rainfall is 300-400mm /year.


  • Benefits to living in an area might outweigh the risk – for example Iceland’s heating system is totally geothermal from volcanic activities
  • This is very economical, and 25% of Iceland’s electricity production comes from geothermal energy.

CASE STUDY: Sicily, Italy

  • Farmers are able to grow olives, grapes and citrus fruits on the slopes of an highly fertile however active Mt Etna.

CASE STUDY: Philippines 

  • LIC has little to no education on the science behind volcanic activity; many believe that it may be fatalistic
  • Those which live on the slopes of Mt. Pinatubo grow rice and crops; agriculture is the country’s main source of income

CASE STUDY:Montserrat, West Indies

  • The volcano of Montserrat provides 5,000 jobs – 5% of the country’s earnings due to dark tourism
  • People will continue to live in these areas and work, despite the risk.

b. Causes and effects of an earthquake on people and the environment

Case Study: Haitian Earthquake of 2010

Immediate effects:

  • 1/3 of the buildings fell (300,000)
  • 1/4 million people injured (250,000)
  • 200 thousand people died
  • All public services (eg. hospitals, communication lines, police stations) were damaged
  • 1.3 mill homeless
  • Mass paternal and maternal loss
  • Police in chaos, mass looting

Background info:

  • Population of 9.8 mil, 6 mil under the poverty line, 8 mil after the quake
  • Haiti sits on the Caribbean and North American plate boundaries – a conservative plate boundary
  • Haiti is an LIC – none of the buildings were built to cope with earthquakes – this was why the majority of injuries were crush injuries
  • Haiti’s buildings were built on steep slopes and had no foundations because people were not educated enough to build properly
  • Haiti had little to no infrastructure and had poorly equipped emergency services – couldn’t rescue people
  • Haiti had no resources to bounce back from an earthquake – over 1/2 of the population lived below the poverty line and were often unemployed and underemployed.
  • Sewage lies open as well as rusty, unsanitary zinc pipes deliver ‘clean’ water to Haitians – this contributes to an already increased level of disease.

Short term effects and responses:

  • Peace was kept from UN peacekeeping soldiers
  • Oxfam provided camps, food and water purification tablets
  • Many thousands suffering from crush injuries, loss of life and joblessness

Medium term impacts and responses:

  • 300,000 people in recovery camps
  • Urgent need for food and fuel
  • Handicap limits people to work
  • Lack of work increases desperation, increasing theft and criminal activity
  • 9 months after the quake, there was a cholera outbreak leading to 600,000 cases and 8,000 deaths
  • It cost $2 bn to eradicate the disease

Long term and future planning:

  • Prepare for earthquakes with earthquake simulations
  • Question of economics – now there is 80% of the population living under the poverty line
  • Oxfam (NGO) provides microcredit schemes as well as monthly allowances to become more quake resistant for the future
  • As most of Haiti’s food is imported, local farmers are educated by Oxfam to increase yield
  • Water sources are improved so that no metal parts come into contact with the water
  • The importance of hygiene and sanitation is educated
  • Oxfam trains locals on how to build quake resistant housing
  • Unfortunatley it is cheaper to build on the outskirts  – people must travel to find work –> travel is expensive and often exceeds the daily wage.

c. Prediction and prevention of the effects of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes

Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions

  • Yellowstone, USA – use GPS technology to check the bulging of the volcano as magma rises
  • Mt. St Helens, Washington, USA – by checking the composition of gases in the air, you may be able to gage activity of magma below the surface
  • Looking at historical records to see if there is a pattern of eruptions that could repeat
  • Geothermal monitoring from space records changes in heat as magma rises to the surface.
  • Seismic monintoring ‘listens’ as the blobs of lava rise to the surface – they often cause minor quakes.

Prediction of Earthquakes

  • Noting strange animal behavior – this is often reported before quakes
  • Monitoring electrical discharge, there has been evidence that they increase before quakes
  • Recording minor tremors  as many major quakes are preceded by small preshocks
  • Due to the nature of quakes happening instantly, it is very hard to predict earthquakes.

Prevention of effects of Volcanic Eruptions

  • Spraying the lava with water helps it to cool down, solidify and stop flowing. As lava has different consistencies (therefore different speeds at which it flows), this may be a valuable tactic
  • Digging ditches to divert for the lava to flow away from areas at risk
  • Putting concrete/rock barriers in the path of lava, diverting flow
  • Mapping out zones for where lava can flow (like flood wash plains)
  • Setting off explosives to divert lava flow

Prevention of the effects of Earthquakes

  • Providing education for local residents on how to prepare and react to an earthquake – eg. must have 3 days supply of water, torch, batteries and canned food
  • BUILDING DESIGN – ‘Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.’
  • Earthquakes are above the ground moving under the building – hence ‘base isolation’ – rubberised foundations that move under the building as the ground shakes
  • California, USA – many houses are build out of wood as it is flexible. However, when electricity comes into contact with wood, fires ensue.
  • Narita Airport, Japan – Hydraulic shock absorbers
  • Square corners are weaknesses – ‘corner brace’ to strengthen the corners with additional wood or metal. Cylindrical housing (especially in rural areas) is often used as there are no stress points
  • CASE STUDY  – Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, USA
  • Building built to withstand earthquakes of a magnitude of 7
  • 1984 Californian earthquake, it swayed over 30 m and still stayed in place due to it’s wide, triangular, stable base.