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UTS 2010 Eyjafjallajokull Eruption Discussion

Learning Goal: I’m working on a geography question and need guidance to help me learn.

Read Donvan and Oppenheimer (2011) The 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption and the reconstruction of geography, and Adley et al. (2011) An ash cloud, airspace and environmental threat, which are available through the library catalogue. To find them, go to the library web site, type or paste the title into the search field, and you will find a link to download the PDF. The library also has a range of useful resources to help you in your studies, available here.

The Task

Read the articles and come to class prepared to discuss the following questions. Please submit written responses to these questions below, in PDF format. Submissions are due next Friday, 03rd September by 11.59 pm. Your responses should be between 500 and 700 words in total. This tutorial task is worth 5% of your total mark for this unit of study.

    1. The authors refer to public misapprehension about the ‘nature of scientific uncertainty’. This, they claim, makes society more vulnerable. What do they mean? What uncertainty existed in the case of the eruption? [1 mark]
    2. Donvan & Oppenheimer (2011) claim the eruption is “at the heart of geographical studies” (p. 10). Why? [2 marks]
    3. Adey et al. (2014) make the point that “It was the societal, political and technological systems – spatially diverse and interconnected – that engendered the ash cloud as disruptive” (p. 339). Drawing from this, do you think the disruption caused by the eruption is an example of a linear process, a positive feedback process or a negative feedback process? Explain. [2 marks]


Donovan, A.R., Oppenheimer, C. 2011. The 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption and the reconstruction of geography. The Geographical Journal 177(1): 4-11.

Adey, P., Anderson, B. and Guerrero, L.L., 2011. An ash cloud, airspace and environmental threat. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 36(3), pp.338-343.

Huggett, R.J., 2009. Physical geography: the key concepts. Routledge.


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