# Hillslope diffusion

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

#### Summary

This lab is designed to help students apply hillslope diffusion equations (derived in class prior to the lab) to understand real-world hillslopes. The major goal is a deeper understanding of hillslope processes and the equations used to describe hillslope diffusion by observing the same factors described in the equations on real-world hillslopes.

## Context

#### Audience

200-level geomorphology course for majors

#### Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Hillslope diffusion equations (outlined in the lab documents) should have already been presented / derived before beginning the lab. Students do not need to fully grasp these concepts as that is the primary goal of the lab.

#### How the activity is situated in the course

A lab activity following lecture

## Goals

#### Content/concepts goals for this activity

ability to 'read' complicated equations that describe the landscape, hillslope diffusion processes

#### Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

formulation of hypotheses, synthesis of ideas, linking mathmatical concepts to real-world situations

## Description and Teaching Materials

Prior to this lab, hillslope diffusion equations (including the transport law, continuity equation, and steady-state equations) are derived in class. In this lab, students examine two primary features of hillslopes: (1) changes in slope from the top of a hillslope to the base, and (2) changes in regolith thickness from the top of a hillslope to the base. Students measure these factors in several places along a hillslope and then synthesize those observations with respect to the equations for hillslope diffusion.
Hillslope diffusion lab description (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 182kB Jun5 14)