14.3. Streams and Floods – Review Questions

  • What are the major reservoirs for water on Earth? Give examples of both saltwater and freshwater reservoirs.


  • Describe the hydrologic cycle. How does temperature influence the movement of water between difference reservoirs in the hydrosphere?


  • Describe how the residence time varies between different water types of water reservoirs on Earth. Why are there such big differences in residence time between some of these reservoirs?


  • What factors influence the amount of runoff that occurs in a given environment?


  • What is the difference between turbulent and laminar flow?


  •  Describe how meanders form in a stream, how meandering streams move across the landscape through time, and what kinds of features they leave behind.


  • Describe the differences you would expect to see between a stream in a mountainous region of BC and the streams you see in Saskatchewan.


  • Describe how levees form.


  • Describe how landscape changes such as hydroelectric dams can alter stream behaviour and properties through time.






  • Go to Google Earth or Google Maps and look for examples of meandering streams in southern and central Saskatchewan. Draw two or three examples of the paths these streams take across the landscape (in plan view, i.e., from above).

  • Draw a cross-section through a river that has flooded numerous times. What are the important features of rivers that flood?


  • Describe and draw a cross-section through a river and its banks, showing the level of the water at normal river flow. Then draw a cross-section through the river at bankful and flood stage. Compare the level of the water in the river at each stage.

  • Give an example of a flood that happened in Canada at some point in the past. What kind of damage did it do? Did anyone die? Did the province and/or municipality do anything before or after the flood to try to alleviate the risk of flooding?



Extra review questions that may be covered in lecture (depending on your professor) that are not completely covered in the the textbook readings:

  • What are some of the ways we use freshwater? How do these uses influence the quality of freshwater resources?


  • Describe water use in Canada, in terms of the proportion used for different industries and purposes.


  • Where does the water from each of Canada’s major river systems in Canada end up?


  • What is water stress and water scarcity? Name some countries that are affected by water stress and water scarcity. Is Canada affected by water stress or scarcity? Should we be concerned about it?


  • Describe how infiltration and runoff vary between an urban and rural environment in Saskatchewan. How can this influence water quality? What other factors will influence the water quality in these environments?


  • How do changes in relative humidity and temperature as air flows over mountains interact to form orographic precipitation?


  • What are some of the consequences of drought?


  • Describe and draw how drainage systems are organized into watersheds. How does stream order relate to drainage basins?




  • How does water discharge vary with stream order?


  • What is a graded stream, and what is dynamic equilibrium.


  • Consider how sediments are deposited and eroded within a graded stream: if you followed the path of a stone down a graded stream, what kinds of process would it be influenced by? How might it weather as it moves downstream?



  • Draw cross-sections through the different types of streams, and label where the thalweg position is in each, and the profile for water velocities across the stream. Consider how this influences sediment transport in the stream.

  • Describe how a fluvial landscape changes through time.



  • Describe how river deltas form and change through time. What features are associate with river deltas? Why are they important?



  • Go hunting on Google Earth and/or Google Maps for some of the features described in this chapter: river deltas, alluvial fans, rain shadows, alluvial terraces, streams and tributaries. There is so much interesting geology we can explore from looking at the landscape from above! Draw some examples of the features you find, in plan view, in the boxes below.

  • Describe how alluvial terraces form. Draw cross-sections through time showing how alluvial terraces form in a river valley.


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