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Student Projects for GSC350 (Natural Disasters) at the Geological Sciences Department,Cal Poly Pomona, Winter Quarter of 2010

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1. The 1908 Tsunguska impact : describe the evidence that suggests a meteorite impact occurred here.
3. Describe an example of a natural disaster that brought about social change in some way: describe both the disaster and the resulting social change.
4. Describe one particular natural disaster of which the aftermath was particularly affected by political decisions ; describe both the disaster itself as well as the political environment.
5. Hurricane Andrew : did evacuation procedures help mitigate this disaster and what improvements have been made to these procedures since then?
6. The 1998 Papua New Guinea tsunami (7/17): what was the direct cause of this tsunami and what is the evidence that lead to this conclusion?
7. Mount Vesuvius : describe what we learned about this volcano from the city of Pompeii and why it is so remarkably well preserved.
8. Krakatau eruption in 1883 : what was its effect on the Earth’s atmosphere and climate?
9. The July 2009 Nachterstedt landslide in Germany, what caused this event and how could it have been prevented?
10. Describe one natural disaster that, in its aftermath, revealed issues related to gender, race or class : describe both the event itself as well as the resulting issue(s). Already chosen, so not available: Hurricane Katrina.
11. Israel's Dead Sea sinkholes , how may human interference be blamed?
12. The 1970 Bhola cyclone : what were its political consequences?
13. Identify one particular earthquake that may have been induced by human actions (e.g. building a dam, injection of fluids into the crust, extraction of gas), describe the earthquake itself and how/why human actions may have caused it.
14. Identify a natural disaster that was clearly mitigated by the use of technology and/or education: describe the natural disaster itself and how this mitigation occurred. Already chosen, so not available: Hurricane Katrina.
15. Eruption of Mount Redoubt, Alaska , in 2009 what has been its impact on humans, and how has this impact been reduced?
16. The January 2009 earthquake in Costa Rica , what was the cause of most damage and fatalities?
17. Eruption of Capelinhos volcano in the Azores : what was its impact on Portuguese emigration to the United States.
18. Rockslide on the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia (2008), the main access way to the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver: what are some of the issues if a similar slide would occur then and what are possible solutions or alternatives that are/have been considered?
19. The 2006 Kilbuck, PA landslide : what are the legal issues surrounding this slide and why is WalMart suing?
20. Recently, demonstrators complained about the reconstruction efforts after the 2007 Pisco earthquake in Peru , what has been done, and in your opinion, should more have been done?
21. Chaiten volcano in Chile erupted in 2008, and studies of its eruption have led to increased knowledge about the hazard of rhyolite volcanoes, what in particular has intrigued volcanologists about the eruption?
24. The landslides in Brazil of January 2010 , what was their indirect effect on local nuclear plants?
25. The January 2010 Eureka earthquake , what was learned from this earthquake that might help mitigate the earthquake hazard in the region in the future?
26. El Salvador storm and flooding of November 2009 , what caused this weather event?
27. The January 2010 Solomon Islands Region earthquake , what lessons were learned from the previous event in the area?
28. The 1868 Great Ka’u earthquake in Hawaii , what caused this event?
29. Oldoinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania , what makes this volcano unique?
30. Did a meteorite trigger an ancient New York tsunami ? Describe the evidence.
31. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake , compare this event with the later Northridge earthquake in the same region.
32. Mayon volcano in the Phillipines : is an eruption imminent? Present the (counter) evidence.
33. The October 2009 Vanuatu earthquakes , what is an earthquake doublet?
34. Recently, there have been suggestions made that geothermal drilling projects may trigger earthquakes , what was the recent result of a lawsuit based on possible triggered earthquakes near Basel?
35. Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica : discuss whether you believe the recent evacuation of local residents was necessary.
36. Mount Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo erupted in January 2010, how has the international community helped in the monitoring of this eruption?
37. The Hunza, Pakistan landslide led to fears of flooding, explain why and describe the mitigation actions undertaken.
38. The H1N1 pandemic : what have we learned and what can we improve in the case of a future pandemic?
39. The 1927 Lompoc earthquake in California , describe the evidence for a local tsunami.
40. In Pacifica, Northern California, a cliff is crumbling due to erosion, what can be done (and what is done) to save the local apartment buildings?
41. The 2002 Denali earthquake in Alaska , describe its foreshock.
42. The 1918 Puerto Rico Earthquake , what would you predict its effects would be if this event were to occur right now?
43. The Hope Slide in Canada, 1965 , what may have triggered this slide?
44. The Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, earthquake swarm of 2008-2009, what may have been the cause of this swarm?
46. The 1976 Guatemalan Earthquake , describe the social change that resulted.
49. The 1970 Peru earthquake , describe the resultant landslide.
50. The 1737 Calcutta Cyclone , describe the controversy about the death toll of this event and present the evidence.

Student Projects for GSC350 (Natural Disasters) at the Geological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona, Fall Quarter of 2009

The following list represents the student project topics that are presented as web pages in this wiki, some students have chosen to present their projects in the form of an oral presentation in the classroom.
The wiki pages have been created by the students over the course of the Fall quarter of 2009.
1. The 2006 Kiholo Bay Hawaii earthquake (10/15): what were the cause and the effects of the electrical outages after the event?
2. The 2007 Japan earthquake (7/18): what happened to the Kashiwazaki nuclear reactors and why?
3. The 2007 Peru earthquake (8/15): what factors lessened its impact, or: why did this earthquake cause relatively little damage and few casualties?
4. The future earthquake near Tokyo: what type of earthquake is expected to occur and describe its potential worldwide financial/economic effects?
7. Describe an example of a natural disaster that brought about social change in some way: describe both the disaster and the resulting social change: Lake Toba.
8. The 1933 Long Beach earthquake: what is the Field Act and describe its relationship to this event?
9. The 2005 La Conchita, California, slide: differences and similarities with the 1995 slide in the same area.
10. The 1996 rockfall at Yosemite National Park: describe what a rockfall-associated airblast is and why it is dangerous.
13. The 1960 Chilean tsunami (5/22): describe the worldwide effects of this tsunami .
15. The Portuguese Bend landslide area near Palos Verde: how has human activity impacted this slide area?
17. The new Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812: why are earthquakes in the Midwest more damaging than on the West Coast?
18. The 1929 Grand Banks earthquake: what was the effect of this event on global, regional and local communications and hypothesize what the effect would be today of a similar event .
22. The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in 1985: explain why the ensuing tragedy could have been averted: describe the actions that could have helped years before, days before or days after the eruption occurred.

23. Hurricane Felix in 2007: what was its effect on the oil industry?
33. Landslides on Mars: describe the evidence for landslides on this planet and find pictures of similar slides on Earth .
34. The 2008 Mogul Nevada earthquake sequence: what are the unusual aspects of this earthquake sequence?
35. The August 2007 Utah mine collapse: did a tectonic earthquake trigger the collapse?, discuss the evidence .
36. The August 2009 landslides in Taiwan, how could the response to the disaster have been improved?
37. The April 2009, L’Aquila, Italy earthquake, describe the very controversial assertion that this earthquake was predicted and critically assess the believability of this statement.
39. The September 29th 2009, Samoa earthquake and tsunami, what was unusual about the type of faulting associated with this earthquake?
40. The September 30th and October 1st earthquakes in southern Sumatra, discuss the two different types of faulting and the relative damage caused by these events .
41. The Station fire itself caused much damage in 2009, discuss the evidence scientists have that suggests the mudslide risk in this area is now also very high.
42. Typhoon Parma in 2009 caused much devastation in the Philippines, describe the major factors involved in the triggering of landslides by this event
43. The Messina, Italy, landslides in October 2009, describe how corruption, chronic negligence, and uncontrolled development led to an increased death toll
44. Soufriere Hills volcano is a very active volcano on the island of Montserrat, describe how it has changed the island and its society in the last 12 years.
46. The August 03 2009 Gulf of California earthquake, how can the data gathered from this event help assess the earthquake hazard in Arizona?
48. The 1999 Sydney hailstorm was remarkable in several ways, describe why
50. The 2003 San Simeon earthquake, what was its effect on the local wine industry?
51. The 1994 Northridge earthquake: what is a blind thrust fault?
52. San Gabriel Mountains Flood of 1938.
56. The 2008 Chino Hills or Freeway Complex fire: what caused the fire?

Please let me know if your topic is missing from this list.

Student Projects for GSC350 (Natural Disasters) at the Geological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona, Fall Quarter of 2008

These wiki pages were created by the students over the course of the Fall quarter of 2008.

1. The Surabay mud volcano “Lusi”: what is a mud volcano and how was it created?
7. The July 2007 fires across the Western U.S.: why did these fires occur and why did they cause such widespread damage?
12. Past and future lahars at Mount Rainier: what do we know about historic lahars in this region and what is being done to mitigate the hazard today?
14. The 2007 earthquake in Kent, England (4/28): describe the differences in damage and human experience as compared to an average M 4.3 earthquake in California .
16. Hurricane Mitch in 1998: how did it affect the population of street children in Central America?
19. The 1992 Nicaragua tsunami (9/2): what was unusual about the earthquake that caused this tsunami?
22. The Yellowstone caldera: describe the possible effects of an eruption of Yellowstone and how likely such an eruption is in the near future.
25. The 1755 tsunami that destroyed Lisbon, Portugal: different hypotheses have been formulated as to the origin of this tsunami, describe these hypotheses and the underlying evidence.
26. The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989: electro-magnetic precursors were suggested to exist for this event, describe what evidence exists for these precursors and what the current thinking is on the validity of electromagnetic earthquake precursors.
29. The Thistle, Utah, slide of 1983: describe its dramatic effects on the economy of Utah.
30b. Describe one natural disaster that, in its aftermath, revealed issues related to gender, race or class: describe both the event itself as well as the resulting issue(s). (for student then)
31. The potential Canary Islands Mega Tsunami: describe both the arguments of scientists who believe this could be a catastrophic event as well as those of scientists who believe the risk has been overstated and choose a side.
36b. Identify a natural disaster that was clearly mitigated by the use of technology and/or education: describe the natural disaster itself and how this mitigation occurred (for student jduo).
37. The La Jolla slide of October 2007: what were the precursory warnings and what was done in response to those warnings?
38. Etna volcano on Sicily: because of its frequent eruptions, the neighboring population is fairly well prepared, describe some of the actions that have been put into place or that can quickly be implemented in this area in case of an eruption.
39. Eruption on island near Yemen in 2007: little is known about this event, describe both the reliable information and list some of the inconsistencies or incorrect information, also list some reasons why so little information is available
42. Mount Nyiragongo in Africa is one of the few volcanoes in the world with a lava lake, describe what a lava lake is and what hazards it poses.
44. The April 2008 Illinois M5.2 earthquake: was this earthquake unexpected?
47. The 2008 Cairo, Egypt, rockfall: how did the fact that the community below this cliff was a shanty town have an impact on the scope of this disaster?
49. Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the Galveston hurricane of 1900: how did these events, the preparation, response and the aftereffects differ for these two hurricanes that hit a similar region, 108 years apart?
51. Johnstown flood Pennsylvania, 1889
52. Bird flu, how can we prevent further spread of the disease after an outbreak?

Student Projects for GSC350 (Natural Disasters) at the Geological Sciences Department, Cal Poly Pomona, Fall Quarter of 2007

The following list represents the student project topics that will be presented as web pages in this wiki, some students have chosen to present their projects in the form of an oral presentation in the classroom.
The wiki pages will be created by the students over the course of the Fall quarter of 2007.

Students Project Topics:

2. The 2006 Java volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi: what attempts have been made to mitigate its hazard?
3. The 2006 Yogyakarta, Java, earthquake (5/26): why did this relatively small earthquake cause so much damage and so many casualties?
5. The southern Sumatra M8.4 earthquake of 2007 (9/12): were there any lessons learned (and applied) from the great 2005 earthquake in this region prior to this event?
9. Hurricane Katrina in 2005: what can be done and has been done to prevent this disaster from re-occurring?
19. The Brooklyn, NY Tornado of August 8th, 2007: use this example to describe the specific effects of a tornado and its accompanying weather system on a large, unprepared, city.
21. The Tri-State Tornado of 1925: describe its long lasting effects on the region.
23. The Cascadia earthquake of 1700: geological evidence for this event and references to it found in Native stories.
24. Kilauea volcano: describe the style of its eruptions and the Hawaiian legends that describe this behavior.
37. The 2001 Bhuj, India, earthquake: describe its liquefaction effects and the underlying cause(s).
38. The 1999 Izmit earthquake: this event raised serious questions about the construction practices in Turkey, describe these concerns and what could be improved.
42. The 1980 Mt St Helens eruption: describe the ecological recovery of the area devastated by this event.
43. The 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake: in the aftermath of this event (as is the case for many others disasters) disease spread among survivors, what are the reasons and what was/could have been done?
53. The Mann-Gulch fire and resulting changes in forest service training.
54. The 1985 Mexico City earthquake: how did the local soil conditions affect the buildings and how is new architecture designing buildings in order to safeguard against building collapse?
55. The 1995 Kobe earthquake