| | Creating a watershed | Delineation of a Watershed | Watershed webquest | Google Earth and our watershed

Creating a watershed

Create hills and valleys in the container of dirt. As you spritz with water, watch where the water goes. Draw your landform in a two dimensional map by measuring the height and width of your structures. Create lines corresponding to the height of the various structures. Steep structures would have circles that are very close together. Those that are not steep would have circles not very close together.

Delineation of a Watershed

1. Start at the mouth of river, stream, creek, run,etc. and mark off 1 cm intervals
2. Draw perpendicular lines to the highest elevation on both sides of the waterway(HINT: Do NOT cross over to the other side of the hill, mountain,etc.
3. Dot the highest elevations
4. Connect the dots to show the watershed

1. Hand in completed delineation of Jackson Run watershed.
2. Include an attached sheet that contains the following:
a. Your own definition of a watershed
b. Identify the stream order of Jackson Run. Include an explanation of how you determined the stream order.
c. Include several reasons for why watersheds are important
d. How do human activities affect the quality of watersheds. Give several examples.

Watershed webquest

Link changed in section 2 on document. If you missed it:

Google Earth and our watershed

  1. Use Google Earth to view the watershed that we are in. Open Google Earth and be sure under the section Layers (on the left side), the box for Geographic web is checked. Uncheck all the others.
  2. Open up the following following Google Earth file:
  3. Click the small triangular arrow that points to the Watershed Layers folder; this will expand the folder so you can see all the data layers available to you.
    expand data folders
    expand data folders
    1. The "Watersheds Characteristics" layer shows a button on the map that gives you access to Web pages about the watershed. Uncheck this layer during your Google Earth exploration.
    2. Expand the sub-folders for Landcover, Population, and Streams and turn separate layers on and off. Use the legends to make meaning of the colors on the map.
    3. Examine the relationships among the layers. Click the name of a layer in the Layers list and use the transparency slider just below the list to see through your highlighted layer.
  4. After some exploration, turn on your Elevation layer and make sure it is not transparent. Turn landcover and population images off. In the stream layer, turn on the largest streamsthe ones that have the highest values for CMS (cubic meters per second). Sequentially add the smaller streams by clicking the boxes for streams of decreasing size. Note the patterns that develop as you add the smaller streams that are tributaries to the larger rivers.
  5. Turn the smaller stream layers on and off to help you visualize the location of drainage divides within your watershed. Compare a zoomed in view of the smallest streams to what you saw in your physical watershed model.
  6. Click the "Watershed Characteristics" layer to see a table of links. Click the Dams link to see the types and locations of dams that have been built to keep water from running downhill.
  7. Go back to your Google Earth map and turn off all Elevation, Landcover, and Population images. Leave all stream layers on. Zoom in to one of the larger streams to check out one or more of the dam sites shown in the graphic.
  8. Turn on the Terrain layer at the bottom of the Layers list and use Google Earth's tilt and zoom features for further exploration.
  9. Choose another watershed in a different part of the contiguous United States from the following website: http://edna.usgs.gov/watersheds/kml_index.htm. Access the data layers for it and explore them to compare that watershed to your own.
  10. Question 1: Start at the largest river in your watershed. Fly backwards to the smaller streams and tributaries. What do you notice about the following as you move from the biggest river to the smallest: elevation, population, landforms?
  11. Your teacher will show you how to use historical imagery. Question 2: How has our area changed between 1990 and 2009? Support your answer with screenshots from your computer. (use apple/shift/4)
  12. In some places, they are fighting over who owns water (think about the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, or Colorado River). Question 3: Would it be better to use drainage divides instead of state boundaries to determine who owns water? Why or why not?