Sedimentary Transport

Austin Boyd
Univ Arkansas at Fort Smith
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Initial Publication Date: September 4, 2012


This activity gets students to compare the relationship between river flow energy and sediment size. The final question requires them to solve a more dynamic problem - one with changing energy levels - a rock showing fining-upwards grains.

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Intro to Geology of Earth Science - Freshman levels

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Characters of main river types and sorting

How the activity is situated in the course

Stand alone exercise


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Understand stream energy and sediment size

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Last question is to evaluate a novel situation of explaining energy levels as illustrated in a fining-upwards rock.

Other skills goals for this activity

Identify grain size to river type (stream, meandering, braided).
Identify sediment size in other depositional settings (lake, ocean, beach etc.).

Description of the activity/assignment

Students read the texbook on river types and in addition become acquinted with river types in lexture class. They are required to apply their knowledge from the previous chapter on grain size in sedimentary rocks determined by energy levels to river energy. The excerise itself, leads them through a series of steps from grain size in different river types, to sediment sizes in different depostionl settings (deep marine, glacier, lakes, beach) in order from them to apply their knowledge to actual settings.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Grading multiple choice and a final question that requires a short answer.

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