Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week 2, June 11, 2013, Allegheny vs. Monongahela Rivers

Summer Session, Week 2
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Today, we focused on how to read topography maps of our area. Our first exercise was to draw our local watershed by locating our house on topo maps of Pittsburgh and its suburbs and predicting where and how water would flow, given the geography shown on the maps.

Some pointers for reading topo maps are:
  • Elevation = increase in the amount or level of something (100 feet, 100 meters, etc; scales may change for each map)
  • Waterways "point" upstream
  • Close lines = steep slopes
  • Far lines = gradual slope
Our next activity involved finding and reporting differences between the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, which meet at The Point in downtown Pittsburgh and form the Ohio River. We used our Internet research skills to find facts about the rivers, including:
  • Length
  • Area
  • Number of Electrical Generating Units (EGU's) there are
  • Locations of their headwaters
  • How many locks and dams there are
  • How many people live in their watersheds
  • What industrial plants there are in their watersheds
  • Which river's water would you prefer to drink, given the above information?

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