Drainage Basins/Watersheds; Describe the nature of drainage basins and river systems; Recognize the four basic drainage patterns and why they differ; Be able to distinguish the properties of the three different zones of a watershed, including erosion, transportation and depositions of sediments.
Stream Types: Contrast bedrock and alluvial stream channels. Distinguish between two types of alluvial channels (meandering and braided); Discuss the formation of deltas; understand the terms competence, capacity and discharge (as it applies to streams!).
River Control Methods: Discuss common river methods including levees, dams, channels and aqueducts; include their primary functions and common problems. For each form of river control also describe a specific location such as from a case study or example used in class, including the benefits and potential negatives. Some examples would include New Orleans levees, Hoover Dam, Los AngelesRiver (channelized) and Central Arizona Water Project (aqueduct).
California Water Issues – Describe the natural geography of the Sacramento/San Joachim watershed in terms of the location of the different zones of the watershed (locations of headwaters, zone of transportation and mouth) and the source of water to the system. Describe how (and why) the natural system has been altered. This would include the general location of dams and aqueducts and their purposes.
Shasta Dam Case Study: What role does the Shasta Dam play in California water resources and what are some possible positive and negative impacts of expanding the dam.
Groundwater Basics: Discuss the importance of groundwater and how it is used as a resource such as public water supply and irrigation; Understand porosity and permeability and apply to different earth materials (different sediments and rocks) to decide if they would make up a productive aquifer; Label the following groundwater diagram [I will give you one or more] with these terms: unsaturated (aeration) zone, saturated zone, water table, examples of recharge, examples of discharge (as it applies to groundwater!), and aquifer. Describe factors affecting the recharge and discharge of a groundwater system
Groundwater Systems: Describe the two factors that affect the productivity of an aquifer (precipitation and aquifer materials). Compare and contrast the aquifers of Appalachian Mountains, California/Nevada and Dayton in terms of rock/sediment type and recharge and how this affects their productivity; Describe subsidence and how it can affect the productivity of an aquifer; how has subsidence affected the Central Valley of California?
California Desalination Case Study: What are some possible positive and negative impacts related to desalination plants?
Note on Case Studies – While you will only be asked to write an essay on one of the case studies (see below), you should understand the basic premise of each topic as noted in the questions above.