Physical and Ecological Processes. SOL WG.2b. Plate Tectonics. The surface of the earth is constantly changing due to plate tectonics and erosion and weathering. Volcanoes.
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Physical and Ecological Processes SOL WG.2b
Plate Tectonics • The surface of the earth is constantly changing due to plate tectonics and erosion and weathering.
Volcanoes • Earthquakes and volcanoes can occur anywhere on the surface of the earth, including underwater, but they are more common at plate boundaries.
Volcanoes • Sometimes volcanoes occur far from plate boundaries. These areas are called hot spots. A good example of a hot spot is the formation of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific.
Volcanoes • There is an area around the Pacific Ocean where many plates come together known as The Ring of Fire. This area has many active and dormant volcanoes and volcanic eruptions are frequent.
Volcanoes • Scientists cannot predict when volcanoes will erupt. • People live near volcanoes because volcanic ash is extremely fertile and good for farming.
Earthquakes • Earthquakes are more common at plate boundaries. • The center of an earthquake on the surface of the earth is called the epicenter. • A seismograph is a device that detects if an earthquake has occurred. • The Richter Scale is a scale used for measuring the intensity of an earthquake.
Tsunami • Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic explosions. • Tsunamis can be detected with an early warning system but not all countries have the money to install them.
Tsunami • See a tsunami here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9ygYqj4rVM
Humans and Earthquakes • Humans can’t predict earthquakes but they can build better buildings that will withstand the effects of an earthquake.
Erosion and Weathering • The surface of the earth is also being formed by erosion and weathering. • Weathering breaks rocks into smaller pieces. • Erosion moves pieces of rock or dirt.
Erosion • After rocks have been broken into smaller pieces the debris is moved by erosion. The agents of erosion are: A. Wind B. Water C. Ice D. Gravity
Erosion • Erosion has natural causes and human causes. • People can take steps to prevent erosion by using nets, covering exposed earth with straw, and replanting vegetation.
Floods • Floods happen when there is too much rain and rivers overflow their banks. • People can try to prevent floods by building embankments or levees.
Floods • Typically, areas that are low in elevation and near rivers or the mouth of rivers experience floods. A few areas that have floods are: • Along the Mississippi River in the U.S. • Bangladesh • Parts of Eastern China