Terrifying Tectonics

By Irelynn, Kaitlyn, Ryan, and Kara

Welcome to the Danger Zone

There are many gorgeous places on the Earth. There is a lot of scenery and wildlife to enjoy too. After carefully analyzing the top most dangerous places, our science group has come up with Maule, Chile; Sumatra, Indonesia; Sumbawa, Indonesia; and San Diego, California as the most dangerous places to live. We are not here to persuade you into thinking that these places are the most perilous, that’s for you to decide.

Mount Sinabung, Northern Sumatra

Why Live There?

Why do people live in North Sumatra? There are obviously dangers living in the area due to tectonic activity and yet there about 238 million people in Indonesia. One of the reasons why people like to live in North Sumatra is a result of the ravishing flora and fauna. The Sipisopiso waterfall is a very notorious reason to visit North Sumatra. There are also wildlife tours that allow tourists to see many wild animals including elephants! Another reason to live in Indonesia is because there are a lot of job opportunities. The language is said to be fairly easy to learn which helps people communicate in their jobs.

Tectonic Plates?

Why do people live in North Sumatra? There are obviously dangers living in the area due to tectonic activity and yet there about 238 million people in Indonesia. One of the reasons why people like to live in North Sumatra is a result of the ravishing flora and fauna. The Sipisopiso waterfall is a very notorious reason to visit North Sumatra. There are also wildlife tours that allow tourists to see many wild animals including elephants! Another reason to live in Indonesia is because there are a lot of job opportunities. The language is said to be fairly easy to learn which helps people communicate in their jobs.

Why Is It So Dangerous?

The Indian oceanic plate was shoved under the Eurasian continental plate (as a result of being located on a convergent boundary) which formed the Volcanic Arc in western Indonesia. Sumatra itself was formed by volcanoes just like Hawaii. The Indonesian Earthquake was caused by subduction (one plate pushed under another plate). It formed in the Indian ocean and triggered many tsunamis that hit Indonesia. Sumatra was hit by earthquakes 25 times since 1797. Since 1997, there have been at least 294,728 deaths as a result of earthquakes. Mount Sinabung is located in North Sumatra Indonesia and has erupted at least 55 times since 2010 after being inactive for 400 years. While volcanic eruptions happen quite frequently, they haven’t taken as many lives as earthquakes. Indonesia is one of the most dangerous places on the earth due to tectonic activity.

San Diego, California

Welcome

Welcome to San Diego, California. Home of beautiful beaches and many family friendly activities. This city has a population of 1,388,348 and is a wonderful place to live. This city draws in numerous home buyers every year. People move to the city because of its great weather, safe neighborhoods and U.S. navy base. However, there are some dangers with living in San Diego.

Tectonic Plates


The city of San Diego is located on a transform plate boundary. With a transform boundary, the tectonic plates slide horizontally by each other causing earthquakes. Transform boundaries cause the worst of earthquakes. San Diego is located along the San Andreas fault line. This is famous for many awful earthquakes. Transform boundaries can also cause mountains.

Why Is It Dangerous?

San Diego is dangerous because of the fault line it is located on. From past earthquakes, over 10,000 people have died and repairs have cost millions. Any day along the fault line an earthquake could occur, but San Diego is prepared.

Sumbawa, Lesser Sunda Islands Chain, Indonesia

Why Live There?

Sumbawa is a beautiful Indonesian island located in the center of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain. There are lots of pretty waterfalls and mountains. The clear blue water is used for many activities, such as surfing, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The mountainous island us a great place to go hiking. Tourists enjoy the wildlife tours of the animals and land features.

Tectonic Activity

Sumbawa is located on three major plates, Indo-Australian, Eurasian, and Pacific. Many volcanoes erupt and are created by these plates subducting. Subduction means that one plate is being shoved under another plate. Some other land features created by this tectonic activity are mid-ocean ridges and mountains. Earthquakes in the area happen when plates with jagged edges crash into each other and create pressure that makes the ground shake. Volcanoes in the area erupt when plates spread apart and lava pushes through and spews out of the top of the volcano.

Evidence

Sumbawa is a beautiful place to live and visit, but you should always be aware of the natural disasters that could happen. Mount Tambora once erupted in 1815, caused at least 71,000 deaths, and is now known as the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history. It has erupted 6 times and is still active. Several large earthquakes in Sumbawa have been recorded and associated with tsunamis.

Maule, Chile

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Magnificent Maule

Located in the center of the country and on the west side of South America lies a city with a population near 17,000. What is the name of this magical, warm establishment? Maule. Maule, Chile. The city lies near the Maule RIver, which makes for good crop production and great weather. At 35͒ south and 71͒ west on the map, this town spans 92 square miles, and inhabits a total population of 16,837 beings. These person are extremely well off, as the Maule River and rainy seasons offer great job opportunities. Some are employed with growing crops, and others focus on stockbreeding. The rich soil allows for several wine farms, otherwise known as vineyards. Imagine breathtaking blue skies, fresh fruit growing all around, and waterfalls that will capture your attention. A vineyard is growing under a crystal blue sky, at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Some cattle graze in a pasture near the Maule River. Maule is known, not only for its great views and good crops, but also for its unique culture. Being located in South America, someone can most definitely feel the Spanish culture seeping through, as they stroll along the streets, seeing a large with house with an orange-red Hispanic style roof. With gorgeous weather, good harvests, loads of job opportunities, and good-ole Spanish culture, who wouldn’t want to live here?

Danger Down Deep

With a gorgeous place, such as Maule, there has to be some sort of downfall. This downfall happens to be a major threat to basically anyone who decides to settle in and around Maule. The culprit? A convergent boundary. Big word, big problem. A convergent boundary is a scenario where two tectonic plates (which are the rocks that make up the Earth’s crust) crash into each other. But that’s not it. This is no ordinary convergent boundary, it’s also a subduction zone, which is the worst of them all. In a subduction zone, one plate forces itself under the other. Subduction zones are extremely dangerous and cause quite a bit of volcanic and earthquake related activity. In Maule’s case, the Nazca and the South American plates are at battle. THe South American plate is the victor, as the Nazca plate is wedged beneath. As a rule, subduction zones create earthquakes and volcanoes, as so stated before. The two plates are crashing into each other- which is sure to cause some serious earthquake activity. The plate that subducts under the other is actually reaching into the magma- which in result creates a volcano. Evidence of tectonic activity in the area includes the wide spanning Andes Mountains, which indicate convergence, and another mountain range- the Chilean Coast Range. Another major tectonic feature in the area is the Intermediate Depression. This is a series of faults that run north and south. They are a great indicator that tectonic activity is taking place. Maule is beautiful on the outside, but a beast on the inside.
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Beautiful Beast


So sure, some mountains have formed, but don’t those make Chile a prettier, more attractive place? It seems that tectonic plates don’t cause much harm. This is entirely, extremely, without a doubt incorrect. The history of earthquakes in and around Maule suggest that tectonic plates do, in fact, cause harm. A major example of this is the 2010 earthquake. This earthquake reached an 8.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale- and the Richter Scale measures out of 10! This earthquake was, quite simply, massive. Over 4,000 people were killed- 4,332 to be exact. This earthquake caused damage amounting up to 66.7 million dollars. This quake was easily the biggest one in Maule history. But what’s one earthquake going to hurt? Well, to start things off, this earthquake was huge! And this isn’t the only earthquake the city has experienced. There have been several other quakes in the past with magnitudes of 3.1, 3.5, 3.9, and 4.2. These may be smaller and less damaging, but they happen frequently. How frequently? Why, they are still happening today! In fact, there was an earthquake on October 30, 2013 which reached a 6.3 on the Richter Scale. These earthquakes will continue to happen, as long as the Nazca and South American plates are converging. And those two huge land masses don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. ⃞

Thanks for Visting the Danger Zone

After reading this article you can now ask yourself, what location has the most risky environment? Out of the top four locations listed above, which is the least treacherous? Are you lucky enough that you do not have to worry about such a crisis in your area? Can your family withstand mother nature’s powerful weather? Looks can be deceiving, the prettiest places and things in the world can turn out to be the most hazardous. Being prepared for things like this to happen is very important when visiting one of the above locations. Don’t be distracted by the beauty. Natural disasters are more common than one might think.