Rivers and Floods in Tampa FL on the Sulphur Springs Quadrangle
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
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
Description of the activity/assignment
Student materials for this exercise include a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with peak discharge data for the Hillsborough River and Curiosity Creek, a .zip file containing two versions (PDF and JPG) of the topographic map of the Sulphur Springs quadrangle, and a simplified sketch map of the quadrangle. The exercise is divided into three parts.
In Part I, students study the Sulphur Springs topographic quadrangle to gain a general idea of the landscape. The students identify drainage divides on the quadrangle and outline the drainage basins on the sketch map.
Part II includes calculating the frequency and probability of various sized floods and creating a recurrence curve using Microsoft Excel charts. Students apply their knowledge to decide whether to buy a house on the floodplain of the Hillsborough River.
In Part III, students use their results to interpret the potential for flooding along the main river and one of its tributaries. Students compare recurrence curves to deduce that having more years of data leads to a more reliable flood forecast. They search online to determine the reasons for particular floods and contrast the effects on the two streams.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment: Student Instructions for Sulphur Springs Rivers and Floods (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 3MB Jun30 18)
- Instructors Notes: Lecture Slides for Rivers and Floods (Acrobat (PDF) 3.3MB Jun8 18)
- Sulphur Springs Quadrangle (Zip Archive 32.2MB Jun7 18)
- Student Spreadsheet for Sulphur Springs Rivers and Floods (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 55kB May21 18)
- Sketch of the Sulphur Springs Quadrangle (Acrobat (PDF) 820kB Jun7 18)
USGS Sulphur Springs FL quadrangle 1:24000 (1995) https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/viewer/#15/28.0233/-82.4474US Geological Survey Surface-Water Data for the Nation https://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/sw (Hillsborough River Site Number 02303330, Curiosity Creek Site Number 02305851, and Cypress Creek Site Number 2303800 are used in the exercise.)
Curiosity Creek Watershed Management Plan Update https://s3.amazonaws.com/wateratlasimages/679_CuriosityCreek2005MgtPlan.pdf
Watershed Excursion of the Hillsborough River https://web.archive.org/web/20151029025036/http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/education/interactive/watershed/index.html