001 - Transboundary Pollution

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Transboundary pollution (TBP) affecting a large area/ more than one country.


Transboundary pollution is a process that has the power to impact a region.

Case Study

One TBP case study including the consequences and possible responses.


  • To have knowledge of what transboundary pollution is.

  • To have knowledge and understanding of the impact that transboundary pollution can have on more than one country.

Key Terminology

            • Transboundary Pollution

            • Incidental Pollution

Define the key term above by using the 'Useful Link' below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Emotive

Fortunately, we do not have many nuclear explosions and therefore the images that show the damage of these disasters can be a little historical. Despite that, the damage caused by explosions can be immense.

      • Look at the images below.

        1. How do they make you feel about nuclear energy?

        2. How do you think they may influence what other people feel about the use of nuclear energy?

Image One - Chernobyl, Ukraine 1986

Image Two - Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station

Activity Two - Detailed Example - Chernobyl 1986

We are going to focus on Chernobyl which exploded in 1986 as a transboundary pollution event. While this event is clearly positioned in the past the impact of this event is still being felt today - which makes it contemporary. We are going to be looking at incidental pollution as the nuclear explosion in Ukraine will hopefully be a one-off event. Incidental pollution is generally caused by technological or human failure. Watch the youtube clip below and answer the following questions:

      1. Who are generally most at risk from pollution events?

      2. Create a timeline of events that led up to the explosion at Chernobyl and for what happened after.

Activity Three - Case Study - Chernobyl 1986 - Impact

Now you know about the events that led up to the nuclear explosion in 1986 we are going to look at the impacts. When discussing the impacts you will need to consider all of the geographic factors (Social, Economic, Environmental, Political). Data is essential. Collect a piece of A4 paper and a set of coloured pens. Choose four different colours for the geographic factors and create a key on your paper.

      1. Using the map below, describe the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl.

      2. Describe the geographic impacts of the Chernobyl disaster.

      3. Describe the responses to the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl.

Exam Style Question

Analyse how global interactions can create environmental risks that transcend boundaries [12 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com