1. 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.

  2. This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

1996 Grand Canyon Flood Analysis

Mark Manone, Northern Arizona University


Analyze the effect of a 1996 controlled flood on a sandbar in Grand Canyon. This exercise uses Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst


Type and level of course
Geomorphology, Intro to GIS, GIS lab

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
Intro to Geology/geomorphology/env. science

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
Not much

Software required for this assignment/activity:
ArcGIS 9.31

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
2-3 hours


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
Integrated remotely sensed data sets, TIN creation, Surface comparison, cut fill.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity
Understand processes involved in sediment transport, fan/eddy dynamics, experimental flood events.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
hypothesis formulation, evaluate results.

Description of the activity/assignment

: The purpose of this lab is to provide an introduction to Arcview 9.3, a GIS software program that can be used by geomorphologists to gain a quick, precise understanding of the morphology and morphometry of landforms and landscapes. You will learn some of the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), followed by a short exercise using ArcGIS to evaluate a small fan/eddy complex at river mile 122 in the Grand Canyon. This lab is designed to take you through some step-by-step analytical techniques that will familiarize you with ArcGIS and give you an understanding of the power of GIS.

Determining whether students have met the goals

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

URLs and References

Download teaching materials and tips

  • Activity Description/Assignment: Sandbar Exercise Data (Zip Archive 5.2MB Aug8 10)
  • Instructors Notes:
  • Solution Set:

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