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Periglacial: Resource Development

Trans-Alaskan Pipeline

IB DP Geography
       
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Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding

 
Video Clip
Data Visualization
   
Definition resource development
permafrost
mineral extraction
News Article
Words to be defined
 
Base Level

Context

 

Lesson Aim

  • To examine the opportunities for resource development in permafrost environments.
  • To examine the challenges posed by permafrost and other characteristics of periglacial areas for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).
  • To use the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline as a case study to illustrate the opportunities and challenges of mineral (oil) extraction in permafrost environments.
 
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  Syllabus linkage: Patterns and Change - Environmental Impact of Increased Oil Demand
 
Trans-Alaskan Pipeline
Geography Activities

Synthesis

 
Research

Trans-Alaskan Pipeline - Opportunities

 

The wealth generated by Prudhoe Bay and the other fields on the North Slope since 1977 is worth more than all the fish ever caught, all the furs ever trapped, all the trees chopped down; throw in all the copper, whalebone, natural gas, tin, silver, platinum, and anything else ever extracted from Alaska too. The balance sheet of Alaskan history is simple: One Prudhoe Bay is worth more in real dollars than everything that has been dug out, cut down, caught or killed in Alaska since the beginning of time.

Alaska historian Terrence Cole

 
Alaskan Oil Production
 
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task One - Opportunities

Produce detailed notes on the following:

  • the opportunities posed by oil-extraction in the north of Alaska

Geofile 566 (April 2008) - Periglaciation and the Primary Economy: In Uneasy Alliance in Contemporary Alaska - is useful for this task.

 
Research

Trans-Alaskan Pipeline - Challenges

 
 
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Two - Image Annotation

Annotate the following images of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline to explain how it has been designed and built to overcome the challenges of this extreme environment.
 
 
Trans-Alaska Pipeline at Delta Junction
 
Trans-Alaskan Pipeline - 17
 
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Three - Challenges

Produce detailed notes on the following:

  • the challenges posed by the periglacial environment for development of the oil resources

Geofile 566 (April 2008) - Periglaciation and the Primary Economy: In Uneasy Alliance in Contemporary Alaska - is useful for this task.

 
Hyperlink
  Reuters: BP pipeline leaks oily mixture onto Alaskan tundra [18 July 2011]
Hyperlink
  Popular Mechanics: How Much Life Is Left in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline? [1 February 2012]
 
Geography Review

Review

 

Exam style question:

Using a located example, examine how a periglacial environment can offer both challenges and opportunities for mineral extraction. [10 marks]

The markbands can be found here - you need to look at Paper 2.

 
Essay Graphic Organiser
 

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