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GCSE Geography | What Is a Natural Hazard? (Natural Hazards 1)

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Last updated 19 Jul 2023

A natural hazard is a natural event that poses a risk to people and property.

There are a number of different types of natural hazard and they are classified by the processes that caused the hazard to occur.

  • Tectonic hazards - caused by the movement of tectonic plates, eg. earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis
  • Atmospheric hazards - caused by high and low pressure weather systems, eg. hurricanes and droughts
  • Geomorphological hazards - these happen on the earth's surface, eg. flooding
  • Biological hazards - these involve living organisms, eg. forest fires, disease pandemics

These categories are closely linked - for example flooding is classes as a geomorphological hazard which occurs because of a number of factors, such as the relief of the land and rock type, however it is also caused by excessive rainfall, which is an atmospheric hazard.

Some natural hazards are actually caused by humans rather than natural processes - for example forest fires are frequently caused by arson or people carelessly leaving campfires or BBQs unattended, which then get out of control.

What is a Natural Hazard? | AQA GCSE Geography | Natural Hazards 1

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