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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Watersheds and the wealth of a nation

Categories: Hydrosphere, Advanced Higher, s1 and s2

It's a late shift tonight, trying to catch up on time wasted on one of my less rewarding interests :-( Looking at last years stuff on Hydrosphere, and am going to use bits of this. I forgot to use the song today for novelty value, the moment may have passed, but I still think we should have a look at the wiki and make some alterations. Mark, amend, improve. Have a look at the terminology and compare it to what you have learned in the last couple of days.

I was also talking about the water cycle as a closed system- no water is put into or removed from Earth's available water, it is just recirculated. Drainage Basins, however are different. Different rivers and their drainage basins receive inputs from precipitation, and water is removed from the drainage basin as rivers flow to sea or it is evaporated. In a very, very simplistic way, it's a little like pouring water into a funnel. The water is there, runs through the funnel and then out. This is what we'll be looking at tomorrow, starting with the idea of what a drainage basin actually is. Taking the funnel idea, we''ll look at the lay of the land of some areas in Google Earth and see if we can correctly identify the watershed. We'll then compare a drainage basin to the hydrological cycle and look at inputs, storages and outputs. If we get time, we'll maybe then start looking at the factors which affect stream discharge in a drainage basin.

Advanced Higher-well, I'm going to have a look at one or two things, including an upcoming conference with some academics, politicians and pressure groups looking at issues such as energy, water etc which might give you some leads on your essays. We'll do a bit of critical evaluation on practice sources too.

s1 might have cause to use the globalrichlist, although I'm not quite sure I brought this in at the right time in today's lesson. I should have drawn attention to the fact that most of the students, even though the figures are 5 years old now, earn more from pocket money than 40% of working Brazilians do (and if anything like today's class, a couple will get more than the high earners too). This should help highlight the reasons why rainforest development is such a thorny issue.


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