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Monday, 22 October 2012

Amazing video of Japanese Earthquake

The video below gives an outstanding view of the buildup in terms of groundshaking to the Japanese earthquake of 2011 and the aftershocks that followed. It is worth watching through with sound as well. As the year goes on, the regularity of earthquakes in the area is made clear, as is the location of the boundaries with relation to Japan. However as March the 10th/11th commences, there is a huge release of energy that takes some months to subside.

This is an excellent visual representation of the scale and sudden onset of the event.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Guerrilla Geography at School Site - results

As published last week, open day at the school inspired a study by year 12 students to see whether the perceived status or value of cars influenced their location. When collecting the data, it had appeared that smarter cars located closer to the most visible and walked past locations on the school site. The location of the cars was mapped out in the field then transferred to a map in the classroom. The map includes a key where the colour denotes the car type. Note that the tabular form of the key allows an easy analysis at first glance of car types and their proximity to what was deemed to be the highest exposure site: immediately next to the South porch, the main entrance for the day.

Click on the images below to see them clearly and on a larger scale.

Fig 1: Map showing the locations of car types and the prime location (marked by an X)

The students have also graphed the number of each car located within 50 metre intervals of the prime location:

Fig 2: Bar graph of 50m wide radii of location and brands within them

So... do the cars that are better locate closer to important locations, and do those that are worse hid further away?

From the map, the closest cars to the prime location are Vauxhall, Audi and Lexus. The degree to which this can support any theory depends on which model. Certainly those spotted on the day appeared smarter. Within 50m there are also pockets of BMWs and VWs. So, though there are smarter cars close to the most visible location, there is no dominance by any particular brand.

The key on the map gives some more revealing information however, when the proportion of each car in each circular band is given. Audi, BMW, Lexus, Vauxhall and Mercedis all show a tendency to locate closer to the most visible location, whilst Ford, VW and Range Rover are skewed the other way.

The graph, displays some interesting trends too. The most notable bars are those for the Audis within 50m and the Fords between 150 and 200m. There are brands which  havn't located within the 150m-200m category at all: High range BMWs, Jaguar and Lexus, whilst some have not located within 50 metres: Honda and medium range BMWs.

Some data needs no analysis since it is likely that Jaguar and Porsche drivers will locate wherever they like!

Overall, the data probably supports the initial theory that drivers of nicer cars locate closer to the most visible locations, although it would appear that the visual study at first may have carried an emphasis on those cars which were more striking since the spread of cars is greater than was first anticipated. being able to investigate and quantify Geographical observations has been a very useful exercise, as has using different forms of presentation to highlight certain data more clearly. We are on the lookout for more small scale investigations around us...

What Causes Monsoons?

With the AS group looking at flooding causes and A2 at earth hazards, the video below on what causes India's monsoons may be useful:

Friday, 12 October 2012

Case Study on Rainforest Destruction

H.Guthrie has produced an excellent case study of the effects of the Tucurui Dam and Trans Amazonian Highway. Click on the images to make them larger and clearer:

Belo Monte Dam

A.Zhu and J.Dalton have done a very thorough presentation evaluating the potential consequences of the Belo Monte Dam project in the Amazon Rainforest. It contains plenty of specific information and is easy on the eye!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A2 self directed research - English Earthquakes and Vesuvius

As part of their global issues study, the A2 students have had time for their own research to satisfy questions they have had which relate to the tectonic hazards element of the course. Below are two excellent posts from the A2 global issues blog

Read on below:

Earthquake In England?

I was wondering why there are occasional EQ's in the UK even though we are not close to a plate boundary, where science tells us EQ's should occur.

In my research I found that the key to it all lies in the African and Eurasion plates movement. These have created multiple fault lines as shown in this image - 

They occur more than we think - - this shows the amount over the last 50 days with more detail within them.

Even the Daily Mail have got involved - - A slighlty exaggerated state of event but good detail nonetheless.


Mt.Vesuvius eruption 79 AD

For my research today, I tried to answer the question of why Pompeii was so badly affected by the eruption of Mt.Vesuvius in 79 AD. Pyroclastic flows swept the city and everything was buried under an extremely hot layer of ash. The city was preserved in time and there was one thing which astounded archaeologists the most when they rediscovered the city. This was the human remains which were found on the site. Although the exact number of people who died in the eruption is unknown, it is predicted that a large proportion of the city's population was killed. There are a few reasons which could explain why the eruption had such a big impact on the city's population. Firstly, although the locals were aware of the plumes of smoke rising from the volcano (a journal was found documenting the signs leading up to the eruption) no precautions were taken. They thought of it as the gods letting off steam therefore no actions were taken until it was too late. Like volcanic eruptions in the modern world, tremors and seismic activities were felt leading up to the eruption. They also chose to ignore this as they were unaware of what could come next. When the volcano finally erupted, the people were caught by surprise and didn't know how to react. Some chose to flee the city and it is likely these people survived as the only affect on them was ash deposits. Those who chose to hide in the safety of their homes were the ones killed. As the pyroclastic flow swept the city, the infrastructure was unable to withstand the speed and temperatures and thus people were buried and burned. The main reason why the eruption of Mt.Vesuvius was so devastating was the lack of awareness. In the modern world, this could still be the case particularly in LEDCs. If large volcanoes are not monitored, locals could be at an increased risk as precautions and responses will not be taken to ensure they are safe. This shows that raising awareness and having an efficient system of response is vital in reducing the impacts of natural hazards, even in the modern world.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Guerrilla Geography on the school Site

Open day at school inspired an impromptu semi-guerrilla investigation.
It was noted that those cars which one would perceive to be more expensive or more coveted were parked in positions of greater prominence.

Year 12 boys have collected maps of the car locations which will be presented and analysed this week.

Prius located away from traffic around natural surroundings!

Most prominent position - front of school

Scho car park, a less desirable location???

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, 5 October 2012

New Blog Layout Finished

We have finally finished updating our new blog layout.

Hopefully it looks better and is easier to use.

We now also have our feed to an online newspaper curated from useful social media outlets.

The upper sixth have also been maintaining various pieces on their own global issues blog.

Happy viewing - there will be new posts very soon.