Stream Morphometry, Stream Flow, Stream Competence
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 3, 2014
Key words: point bar, fluvial sediments, topographic surveying, particle size analysis, stream morphometry, stream discharge, stream flow competence
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
- Recording field observations on data sheets.
- Acquiring information from topographic maps, e.g., converting distancesmeasured on a map to distances on the ground.
- Solving simple algebraic equations for unknown variables.
- Familiarity with the Wentworth scale for classifying the particle size of clastic sediments.
- Familiarity with the following concepts: Manning's and Chezy equations to estimate stream flow velocity; Shield's parameter and fluid shear stress in open channel flow; Froude Number; Hjulstrom diagram
- Familiarity with MS EXCEL worksheets is an asset
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Dry sieving sediments for particle size analysis.
Data visualization (i.e., construct histograms).
Provide succinct written responses, i.e., data interpretation.
Description and Teaching Materials
Steam Flow and Competence (Microsoft Word 61kB Jun3 14)
Sutherland Beach Topographic Survey (Excel 32kB Jun3 14)
Fluvial grain size data (Excel 38kB Jun3 14)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Make sure to incorporate sufficient time to demonstrate the proper use of the Abney clinometer and the soil auger, and to review the data recording protocol. My experience suggests that students require ~ 1.5 hours to complete the surveying and soil sampling in the field.
Field safety is of utmost concern. Please inform yourself of institutional policies related to out of classroom activities. Basic first aid training is an asset; course instructors should carry a basic first aid kit at all times. Work out an emergency plan in case someone must be evacuated immediately from the field.
For the practical laboratory portion of this sequence of exercises course instructors should incorporate time to demonstrate the proper and safe use of the sieves and the analytical balances employed to determine the mass of the various sediment fractions.
For this exercise, a 2 hour tutorial lead by the teaching assistant or course instructor is appropriate for assisting students with the problem solving exercises.
Students are required to provide fully worked solutions for all of the problem solving exercises.
A grading rubric is established for the assessment of the written responses.
References and Resources
Alan S. Trenhaile, 2013. Geomorphology: A Canadian Perspective. 5th Edition. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, Ontario. 575 pages.