Floods on the Minnesota River - Planning for St. Peter
In this lab, students make a flood hazard map for the city of St. Peter, MN. They use the 100-year flood as the design flood level for planning the zoning in St. Peter. Students proceed by determining what the 100-year flood level is for this part of the Minnesota River and then determining the areas of St. Peter that would be affected by such an event.
- Calculate the extent of a 100-year flood event for a given river and location.
- Determine the geographical area that would be affected by a 100-year flood event.
- Develop recommendations for city planners to use in controlling development in areas that would be affected by a 100-year flood event.
Context for Use
This laboratory activity is appropriate for use in an undergraduate earth science class addressing hydrology and its impacts on society.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Students will need both log-log and arithmetic graph paper as well as a topographic map of St. Peter, MN.
Lab Activity Sheet (Acrobat (PDF) 149kB Jan20 04)
Lab groups turn in graphs used to calculate the size of the flooding event, topographic maps of the affected area and their answers to discussion questions making recommendations to city planners and evaluating the process used to determine the area that would be affected.
References and Resources
Minnesota River Profile: This page provides a profile of the Minnesota River that is necessary for the lab.
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Controlled Vocabulary Terms
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative, Hazards
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), College Upper (15-16)
Quantitative Skills: Logarithms/Exponential Functions, Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry, Algebra
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere, Human Dimensions/Resources
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards