A Level Geography Bp Case Study

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Case study: Gulf of Mexico oil spill and BP

On 20 April 2010 a deepwater oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

The immediate effect was that it killed 11 people and injured 17 others. Oil leaked at a high rate which is difficult to calculate. Some estimates are around 40,000 barrels a day. The oil spill posed risks to the environment and affected local industry.

The impact this oil spill was depended on which parts of the coastline you look at. It is difficult to measure the effects because of seasonal changes in wildlife.

Economic impact

  • The government asked for $20 billion in damages from BP and BP's share price fell.
  • Local industries, such as fishing was threatened. There was a ban on fishing in the water.
  • Tourism declined.

Environmental impact

Environmental worker rescuing an oil-covered pelican

  • Plants and animals were completely covered in the oil. Seabirds, sea turtles and dolphins have been found dead.
  • Oil that entered wetland areas meant recovery would be slow.
  • Fish stocks were harmed, and productivity decreased.

The size of the oil spill was one of the largest America had seen. However because the oil entered warm waters, organisms in the water helped to breakdown the oil. The overall effect may be less than Exxon Valdez Oil spill in 1989 which happened in colder water.

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  • The more recent you are, the more impressed the examiner will be! here is a thread where we can search and share case studies!

    please add any information on any topics you feel will benefit your studies!

    for example:

    Tectonics 15th may 2013

    An earthquake 2.8 mw2 was recorded in Wester Ross, Scotland. the epicenter being located near Gairlock.

    cause - could be the reactivation of an old fault line. (does not specifically relate to tectonic movement)

    "Local resident Roy MacIntyre told BBC Radio Scotland that he had felt the walls of his house shudder as if a large bus had passed by outside."

    "Also on Wednesday, a 1.4 mag quake was felt south of Cannich in Strathglass at 07:43. A 1.3 mag earthquake was felt near Torridon in Wester Ross on 9 May."

    no recorded threat to the society, economy or the environment.

  • For local conflicts

    HS2 rail benefits to economy 'unclear', says National Audit Office

    The economic benefits of the HS2 high-speed rail project are unclear, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

    In a report, the NAO said it had "reservations" about how the planned high-speed rail link would deliver growth and jobs.

    It added that the project had an estimated £3.3bn funding gap.

    Labour described the report as "worrying", but Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin rejected the report, saying the case for HS2 was "clear".

    The NAO said the Department of Transport (DfT) had "poorly articulated" its case that the rail network needed transformation and that the High Speed 2 project would generate regional economic growth.
    It said the department had emphasised that HS2 would provide faster and more reliable journeys, but said the link between this and the strategic reasons for doing the project in first place, such as rebalancing regional economies, was not clear.

    The NAO also estimates a £3.3bn funding gap for the controversial project which "the government has yet to decide how to fill".

    Rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22543860

  • For Tectonics. The examiners like recent earthquakes

    Strong earthquake strikes Papua New Guinea-from 17th April 2013

    A strong earthquake has struck Papua New Guinea's northern coast, causing residents who feared a tsunami to seek higher ground.

    The quake, which the US Geological Survey says had a 6.8 magnitude, reportedly lasted for three minutes.
    No tsunami warning has been issued and there were also no reports of serious damage or injuries.
    It struck at about 08:55 local time (22:55 GMT Tuesday), with an epicentre 19km (11 miles) east of Aitape town.
    The coastal town of Aitape was devastated in 1998 when a huge earthquake triggered a tsunami that left more than 2,000 people dead.

    No tsunami warning was issued, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said a quake this strong could sometimes generate local tsunami waves within 100km of the epicentre.

    "Authorities in the region should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action," it said.
    An eyewitness told ABC News that many people sought higher ground after the earthquake struck.
    "They were frightened maybe the sea will come up," Max Kamave said.


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