Types of Geological hazards
A geologic hazard has been defined as an extreme natural events in the crust of the earth that pose a threat to life and property, for example, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis (tidal waves) and landslides.
(OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms – Geologic hazard Definition https://stats.oecd.org › glossary › detail)
Major natural disasters
Using the definition above linking to the crust of the earth, there is a link to the major global natural disasters affecting life and property. Lightning causing death and fire is a natural phenomenon that in extreme situations be generated by large fire fronts.
- 7 Landslides.
- 6 Volcanic eruptions.
- 5 Tornadoes.
- 4 Lightning.
- 3 Tsunamis.
- 2 Hurricanes.
- 1 Earthquakes.
Of the major natural disasters listed above the effects some can be greatly exacerbated by human activity. For example landslides and land slips usually occur when hydrological (water saturation of a rock and soil) loading of the soil and rock mass on steep slopes is excessive. If these slopes have also been cleared or partially so due to human activities (including agriculture and mining) the landslide can be far more destructive as the rock and soil mass becomes over saturated and will form a sheet like dense flow carrying thick mud and rocks and burying all in its path. There are numerous examples of this occurring in Latin America. Major landslips can occur im regions that have an unstable substrate such as regions affected by the movement of ice across a landscape that can create clays that can liquefy whne saturated to form a glide plane for large areas of land such as the one in Norway in early June 2020
Saving the earth from ecosystem collapse
Humanity must become more aware of how to take care of each other before we can understand how to take care of our planet as custodians.
The global corruption levels of government and secrecy from its citizens has increased and this is endemic even in the most democratic nations. Corruption makes all decisions of government
The 21 st Century has been dubbed the ‘information age’ with most of the known elements being extracted to support a complex knowledge-based modern civilisation.
An examination of the current processes employed by business shows significant shortfalls in addressing the environmental effects of large projects that have extensive land use and complexity. Locally the result of these actions has been major environmental and human tragedies.
Major problems of the 21st Century are air, water , land and marine pollution, probable extinction of one million species by 2030, land degradation and climatic perturbations.
The impact of disasters and disease on human and animal populations and vegetation are examples of what has been grouped under the human induced change. The bush fire season in Australia and elsewhere has been exacerbated by increasing aridity of climate and vegetation and the over allocation of water in major river systems in drought conditions.
Power generation in the 20th and 21st centuries has brought more people out of poverty, but it’s consistent clean power generation with minimum pollution and land clearing that is the key to a healthy ecosystem.
As custodians humanity needs to find better ways to undertake activities in harmony with our earth’s changes of climate, ecosystem and our needs to fulfil our role as true custodians of our wondrous home. Humans need to wake up, step up, and be heard to make our earth a sustainable liveable ecosystem for us, our animals, and everything.
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