Cutting Edge > Courses > Sedimentary Geology > Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014 > Teaching Activities > Observing Abandoned and Undersized Valleys to Investigate the Drainage History of the Cincinnati Area

Observing Abandoned and Undersized Valleys to Investigate the Drainage History of the Cincinnati Area

Sarah Johnson, Northern Kentucky University
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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 9, 2014

Summary

Using a digital elevation model, prehistoric drainage and modern drainage in google earth, students will locate abandoned valleys, interpret prehistoric drainage orientations, measure and compare valley and channel widths of "new" sections of the Ohio River with tributary valleys which have been used by both prehistoric and modern rivers.

Context

Audience

I use this activity for a geomorphology course for undergraduate geology majors. The prerequisite for geomorphology is one previous geology course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

How the activity is situated in the course

I use this activity after we study streams and as an introduction to how glaciers have affected this region.

I have used a version of this in my geomorphology course, and a version in my introductory geology course.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description and Teaching Materials

Students download google earth files including a digital elevation model, prehistoric drainage and modern drainage files. Students use the DEM and the modern drainage to locate abandoned valleys and compare their valley elevations with modern valley elevations. Students then compare the width of of the Ohio river channel and valley, and the width of two tributary channels and valleys, and form a hypotheses as to why the tributary valleys are wider than the Ohio River valley. Students then view a layer showing the Teays river system and determine which way this ancient pre-glacial Teays river flowed in this region, and think about what happened to the water in this system when the first glaciers advanced into the area.

Teaching Notes and Tips

References and Resources

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