What is an article that affected my environmental ethic and how has it effected my actions? An article that really stood out to me is https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/why-plastic-bottles-are-bad-for-the-environment, an article obviously against disposable / plastic water bottle usage. The points in this article that really stand out to me are: bottled water is not worth the convenience (price wise), and the plastic is bad for the environment (obviously). My actions have changed in the way that I now use a re-usable, metal water bottle daily, drastically decreasing the amount of plastic I put out into landfills / the environment. Refilling a metal bottle with tap water also saves you a ton of money, which is cool too.
According to a BBC documentary titled “Cascadia Subduction Zone,” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR95-T6DvQM) we in North America are at risk of having a mega thrust earthquake of a huge magnitude. The evidence is quite convincing. It all starts with the native legend of a Thunderbird causing a massive earthquake, scientists wondered if this was not only a fictional legend but it was also documenting a REAL event that really took place. In the year 1700 Japan was hit by an orphan tsunami, meaning that the earthquake was absolutely massive and very far away. There is evidence that the earthquake that caused this orphan tsunami that hit japan took place in NA by the Cascadia plate. There is a “Ghost Forest” near Cascadia that is full of dead trees with no definite signs of what killed them, a scientist concluded the trees died around the 1700s, an earthquake of huge magnitude was suspected to have killed the trees and cause the orphan tsunami in japan. One of these pieces on evidence is not enough because they are required to be put together in order to draw a connection. For example what in the world does the tsunami in japan have to do with us in NA? But using the other piece of evidence we can connect an earthquake in Cascadia to japan. The impacts of a mega thrust earthquake would be catastrophic to Vancouver. Older, Brick and mortar buildings would almost surely collapse, newer and extremely well engineered skyscrapers would sway side to side but in the worst case scenario a skyscraper could totally collapse which would be terrible. Vancouver would have a super long rebuilding process and the economic effects would be pretty terrible as well.
I interviewed my father about what he remembered about the mount saint helens eruption way back. It went a little something like this.
Q: so what do you remember about mount saint helens?
A: I don’t remember much besides the ash fall in Vancouver
Q: how did that effect you
A: well it made a huge mess
Q: ah ok thanks
In this lab we created a miniature volcano of our own, as seen on the picture below.
Q #1 the pyroclastic flow, otherwise known as the lava flowing down the mountain looked a little anticlimactic on our created volcano. It went down about 9/10 of the mountain super fast but also stopped right there super fast as well.
Q #2 How did the eruption of mt kilauea effect it’s surrounding landscape? The lava flow pretty much just turned the landscape black everywhere it touched, aka burned everything. The lava also flowed kind of like a river.
Q #3 Why is volcanic activity important to Hawaii? Hawaii was literally built on volcanoes, underwater volcanoes formed Hawaii and volcanoes on Hawaii keep expanding the island when lava flows into the water.
Q #4 How did the residents respond? People were evacuated from their homes.
Q #5 how would you respond to a volcano erupting nearby? if a volcano nearby to me erupted I would also have to evacuate because it is impossible to stop a lava flow. I would go somewhere where the lava flow would not go. We don’t really have much of a choice in what we can do in most natural disasters.
NBefore the eruption the volcano was a super popular place to ski, hike and even swim in the glacier fed lakes below. Scientists were using lasers to find out how much the mountain was moving each day. They found it was moving up to 5 ft a day. After the blast people spent 6 years planting trees and the results were great. Spirit lake memorial highway built. Some of the new bodies of water that could hold life were used to catch fish.
Geography in Action
Even though Hawaii is known for being a beautiful vacation destination it is also a major hotspot for volcanoes. Hawaii is home to one particularly active volcano, Kilauea. Kilauea is a shield volcano, which is only explosive if water gets into the main vent, otherwise it erupts by magma overflowing out. Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. On May 3rd, 2018, Kilauea had a massive eruption. After the eruption a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit on May 4th, hitting the south flank of the volcano, the most powerful earthquake to hit the island since 1975. The volcano also opened fissures into the Leilani estates. The lava usually flows into the sea from the subterranean channels but in this case the lava poured into neighborhoods, consuming entire blocks. At least 1700 residents were forced to leave their homes and 700 homes were destroyed on the east rift zone of the volcano. This effects humans, animals, or anything that is in the path of the lava flow. The eruption affects us because you can’t just move your house out of the way, there will be no remains of your home if it is in the way of the lava flow. The lava flow also destroys power lines, so major power outages could occur. The same goes for trees plants, and everything that can’t move. Fortunately, the lava flows at a turtle’s pace, so it is unlikely the lava will catch up to you or most animals. How do the geographical spheres come into play in this unfortunate event? First, the lava comes from the lithosphere from under the ground, when the lava is underground, we call it magma instead. When Kilauea first erupted in 1983 it showed no sign of magma stopping the flow out ever since. This has had a great effect on the biosphere because instead of nice-looking trees and all the nice thing’s nature has to show us there is only scorching hot rock now, which kind of looks cooler in my opinion. How are people responding to the eruption? There is really no way to stop a 1500-degree Fahrenheit river of molten rock so peoples only option are to get out of the way or abandon their homes. Same thing with looking for solutions, there is just no stopping the lava, all you can do is protect yourself as best as you can. Organizations can help house and feed people who have lost their home and have nowhere to go. This situation makes me feel very bad for the people that lost their homes. I feel the absolute worst way to lose something is off bad luck, such as your house just happening to be in the way of a lava flow, it feels unfair, but you can’t do anything about it because we will never control mother nature. A solution I would propose is to help by donating food, water and giving the victims some type of comfortable shelter. Unfortunately, like many natural disasters we cannot do anything about prevention, we can only prepare for the aftermath.
On September 28th, 2018, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit Indonesia, I learned about the effects of the earthquake in the city of Palu. What was once a vacation destination turned into a total disaster zone with body bags lining the streets, disease, and no electricity. Initially I did not have many thoughts about the disaster because I could not relate. When I saw pictures of the totally destroyed neighborhoods I came to the realization that we should treat everything we have like its the last day we have them. An earthquake of this magnitude only takes seconds to destroy everything we have, or anybody we love. I had a great sense of gratitude for what I have, I started to feel very sorry for the people of Palu and all of Indonesia who were affected. I feel more personally connected to the victims when I watch interviews with the survivors, the more you get to know them the more you feel for them. I was glad to see how devoted some doctors were to tending to the victims, they gave up time with their own families who may or may not be alive to help total strangers. I felt like I should do something but my mind went blank as I though of what to do. I feel powerless because there is nothing i can realistically do besides donate money which wont make too much of a difference anyways because of the amount of destruction. This disaster made me come to the realization that being financially strong is not the only thing I should be concerned about, which is what we like to think in western society. We need to realize that we cannot control nature to our will and we should respect it more.
What went wrong in today’s lab and what could be a solution?
One of the problems is that nobody has the same exact technique of doing the waves so the waves were all inconsistent, as a solution only one person should be recorded for maximum accuracy. When triangulating to find the epicenter not everybody had a straight path to their recorder, this could be fixed by making a clear straight path with a string or something.
In order to find the epicenter of an earthquake we need more than one seismometer, we need at least three. We measure the time the S and P waves hit each seismometer and locate the epicenter referring to the time to the times of the wave hitting each, hence the name triangulation.
Locating the epicenter is important to our society because if we knew where the earthquake would be most powerful we could avoid that area.
we could use the data in an emergency situation to locate the epicenter and avoid it to avoid the most powerful location of the earthquake
We may not realize it but the continents we live in fact do move because of a phenomenon
that scientists call continental drift. A very credible German scientist that goes by the name of Alfred
Wegener discovered very convincing evidence of continental drift quite some time ago. He is a
credible source because he has a Ph. D from the University of Berlin, is extremely intelligent
(obviously) and he is a meteorologist, better known as today as a “weather boy”. One of the things
that Wegener discovered is that just by looking at the map of the world we can see that all of the
continents fit together kind of like a puzzle. The continents fitting together birthed the theory that all
continents were once together, forming a “super continent” we know of today as Pangaea. Pangaea
then split apart and the continents drifted into the positions they are in today. It is not just a
coincidence that all of the continents just happen to fit together . Another piece of evidence that
Wegener discovered was the Correlation of fossils on completely different continents. Fossils of the
now extinct Cynognathus were found on South America and Africa, directly across from each other.
This animal does not swim so it most likely could not have crossed the Atlantic ocean. Another fossil
found in both South America and Africa is called the Mesosaurus which too did not have the ability to
cross that great body of water because it only lived in fresh water and the distance was too great. The
fossils were found in both continents not because they moved themselves, but because the
continents moved them. Wegener’s was the reason that continental drift is a seriously researched
topic now, all this time later National Geographic still strives to learn about continental drift. In this
article (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/continental-drift/) it is said that “…
continents rest on massive slabs of rock called tectonic plates. The plates are always moving…” It
seems to be a fact that continents do in fact sit on plates, and the tectonic plates do in fact move, so
the continents MUST be moving, it is undeniable at this point. National Geographic is a very reliable
source, they have many bright minds at their disposal and have earned a great reputation and
credibility over their many years of providing good information to the public. This reinforces the idea
of continental drift substantially and supports my thesis. My last piece of evidence is from an article
from Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/science/continental-drift-geology), another
extremely reliable source. We know for a fact that plates collide and form ridges underwater,
Britannica is suggesting that “As the plates move away from the flanks of the ridges, they carry the
continents with them.” This has to be true because the continents are sitting on the plates, so the
continents must move with the plates. In conclusion as we can see from all of this super concrete
evidence from all these super credible sources that the theory of continental drift is not just a theory,
it is a fact.