This Geography quiz tests your knowledge of landform use and tectonic plates. The Earth's crust is unstable, especially at the edges of tectonic plates. You are expected to know how these plate boundaries are distributed around the world and the key features of each type of boundary, including the landforms they produce. This overlaps with the human geography section of your studies as you also need to know how humans use the landscapes produced where plates meet.
There are three types of plate boundary - destructive, constructive and conservative. Constructive plate boundaries are mainly located under the seas and oceans of the world and are therefore not used by humans. Conservative boundaries are found on land as well as underwater and they generally don't form particularly specific landforms.
Destructive plate boundaries produce terrestrial (land based) landforms that are challenging and useful to us - fold mountains and volcanoes. These are the two landforms of interest for the GCSE.
There are many communities living near to volcanoes, some of which are active, some dormant and others extinct. Some volcanic rocks weather to form soils that are fertile with plenty of nutrients, so the flanks of volcanoes are used for growing crops. Not every volcano is used in this way, there are some that are just too active or have not developed particularly good soils. An example of human use of a volcano is mount Vesuvius. It is the most densely populated volcano in the world with nearly half a million people living on or close to it. It attracts many tourists and so tourism is an important source of income locally. The soils are fertile enough for agriculture and there are a number of vineyards, market gardens, olive tree and fruit tree plantations in the area.
Fold mountains are created where the Earth's crust has been crumpled by the huge forces of plate tectonics and they are used in a wide variety of ways. They present many challenges and you need to be aware of some of these and how humans have overcome them. The two biggest challenges are communications and the weather. Chains of fold mountains that are formed at active plate boundaries are relatively young, so the mountains have not worn down. The weather is variable, extreme and can be very unpredictable. Their slopes are steep and often have vertical cliffs, so most lines of communication follow valleys as far as possible. Where they need to go up steep slopes, they have been built as zig-zags to reduce the gradients. Instead of going over mountains, some main roads and railways go through tunnels.
The harsh winter weather is used successfully by the winter sports tourism industry. During the summer, the mountains provide other income for the tourism industry as walkers and climbers enjoy visiting such areas. The spectacular scenery also attracts cyclists and motorists so there are many shops that sell outdoor equipment, local produce like honey and souvenirs.
Lakes formed in fold mountains are attractive to tourists too, you may have studied examples like Lake Garda in Italy or Lake Geneva on the border of France and Switzerland. In some places, where rainfall is high and the geology is just right, dams have been built to produce hydroelectric power. Agriculture has developed in sunny, sheltered areas like wide valleys and sunny lower slopes where all sorts of crops are grown.
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