Module 4: Exploring the Grand Canyon Using WILSIM-GC: Changing multiple parameters simultaneously

Kyle Whalley, Geography, Northern Illinois University
Author Profile
Initial Publication Date: December 14, 2015 | Reviewed: November 25, 2019

Summary

In this exercise, students explore the effects of changing multiple parameters simultaneously in WILSIM-GC. Through this exploration, students develop an understand of how the physical model parameters interact with each other, and relate those interactions to the geological processes that control the development of the landscape.

We recommend that students complete Module 1 (How Stratigraphy and Fluvial Processes Affect the Development of the Grand Canyon), Module 2 (Exploring the Effects of Each Model Parameter in WILSIM-GC), and Module 3 (Exploring the Grand Canyon Using WILSIM-GC: Interpreting simulated landforms, cross-sections and profiles) in preparation for this exercise.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

Content Goals

After successfully completing this exercise, students will be able to:
- Explain the effects of decreased and increased values of WILSIM-GC parameters on erosion rates
- Relate WILSIM-GC model parameters to geological processes
- Describe how geological processes interact with one another to create landforms such as the Grand Canyon
- Recognize that similar landforms can develop in different ways

Higher Order Thinking Skills

After successfully completing this exercise, students will be able to:
- Formulate and test hypotheses about fluvial geomorphology, using WILSIM-GC

Context for Use

Course Type

Undergraduate course in geography or geology

Prerequisite Skills

Students should be familiar with the processes of fluvial geomorphology. They should also know how to use WILSIM-GC (including adjusting simulation parameters) and should be familiar with what the simulation parameters represent, geologically.

Where this activity fits in the course

This exercise follows an introduction to WILSIM-GC, and begins to guide students though landscape interpretation via simulation output. As such, it is intended as preparation for interpreting the geological processes responsible for landscape evolution in the real world. We recommend that students complete Module 1 (How Stratigraphy and Fluvial Processes Affect the Development of the Grand Canyon), Module 2 (Exploring the Effects of Each Model Parameter in WILSIM-GC), and Module 3 (Exploring the Grand Canyon Using WILSIM-GC: Interpreting simulated landforms, cross-sections and profiles) in preparation for this exercise.

Description and Teaching Materials


Assessment

Assess the students' understanding by reviewing their answers to the questions.