Explain Why Coastal California Is Considered a Disaster Hotspot?

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Explain why coastal California is considered a disaster hotspot? (15marks) A disaster hotspot is a country or area that is vulnerable/ disaster prone due the hazards that are; Geophysical, hydro- meteorological. A human factor that increases the risk is vulnerability which includes- population density, wealth and GDP (gross domestic products) which affects the impact of the natural hazard. California is considered a disaster hotspot as all of these factors contribute to an increased danger to human life, meaning it is susceptible to the following natural hazards: earthquake, tsunamis, volcanoes, droughts, wildfires, fog and smog, hurricanes and landslides. One hazard can often trigger others (e.g. Earthquakes can cause landslides and tsunamis). The San Andreas Fault is a conservative plate boundary that runs 1300km along the Californian coastline. The fracture within the crust, causes crustal instability, between the North American and the Pacific plate. As it traverses, due to convection currents, the tectonic plates are dragged along the entire length of the Californian coast. Both plates are moving in a north westerly direction, however, the Pacific Plate is moving faster than the North American Plate, so the relative movement of the North American Plate is to the south east. The Pacific Plate is being moved north west due to sea floor spreading from the East Pacific Rise (divergent margin) in the Gulf of California. The North American Plate is being pushed west and North West due to sea floor spreading from the Mid Atlantic Ridge (divergent margin). The difference in pace and movement of plates, triggers the up build friction. When this friction is released- Earthquakes are generated. An example of an event is the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 on October 17 measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. Tsunamis are one result of earthquakes. A sudden shift in

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