Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Floods on the Minnesota River

Floods on the Minnesota River - Planning for St. Peter

Carolyn Dobler, James Welsh

Author Profile


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.

Learning Goals

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.

Teaching Materials

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.

Contact the Author

Please contact the authors with questions or suggestions.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Floods/Fluvial Processes, Geoscience:Hydrology
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

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