Geomorphology Teaching Activities
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Dam the Wilderness: Building "Green Hydropower" on Big Creek part of Activities
Students exercise knowledge of how dams impact physical and biological systems to try to design a dam that minimizes its impacts while still meeting power production and water diversion requirements.
Weathering Experiment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This project has students dirty several dishes equally and design experiments to determine which analogs of geologic processes are most efficient for removing the baked-on food. Students calculate rates of ...
Salt Tracer and Area-Velocity Water Discharge part of Activities
Problem set on water discharge measurements done during an earlier class meeting. Could also be done as a lab.
Flume Hydraulics and Sediment Transport Lab part of Activities
This exercise is intended to help link the observations of water and sediment motion that student made in the laboratory flume with the theory discussed in lecture.
Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling part of Activities
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...
Build a Delta! part of Activities
This is a 3-part lab that allows new geomorphology students to experience first-hand the scientific method by investigating the processes and results of river-delta formation.
Hydraulic Geometry in the Greys River Watershed part of Activities
Following lectures regarding catchment hydrology and fluvial processes, students complete a two day field analysis of a watershed from headwaters to outlet, measuring fluvial parameters such as channel geometry, ...
Teaching geologic time and rates of landscape evolution with dice part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Landscape evolution provides a convenient framework for understanding geologic time and rates because students can observe how processes like erosion and deposition shape their surroundings. In this example, students build 3-D sandbox models based on topographic maps and design and stage a "virtual adventure race." Sandbox landscapes are used to illustrate erosional processes,while local examples are used to discuss landscapes as transient or steady over different time- and length scales. Dice experiments illustrate radioactive decay and the shape of the age equation curve, and 14C dating, geochronology and thermochronology are introduced as "stopwatches" that start when a plant dies, a crystal forms, or a rock nears the surface and cools to a certain temperature. The sandbox model and thermochronometer "stopwatches" are combined to measure erosion rates and rates of landscape change. Ultimately, model rates (cm/hour) calculated from stopwatch times on the order of seconds can be related to geologic rates (km/My) calculated from real million-year-old samples.
Investigating Stream Energy and Gradient Using Small Stream Tables part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this Physical Geology lab activity, students investigate the relationship between stream energy and gradient by changing the gradient of a small stream table and observing changes in stream erosion.
Transport of heavy metals in the Clark Fork River part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This is an activity about transport of sediment contaminated by copper, arsenic, and other heavy metals that was deposited into the Clark Fork River channel as the result of historical mining activity. The Clark Fork River between Butte and Milltown, Montana has been the focus of several large superfund projects designed to address the impacts of this legacy of mining in the watershed. This activity is used in an introductory physical geology lab (primarily non-majors) with students who may have limited experience working with quantitative analysis and analyzing graphs.