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Geomorphology 5 - Lab Report Example

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In which case, this forms characteristics that define a drainage basin within a given point. Intuitively, various factors dictates the dissolved ion content in a stream , including geology…
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Geomorphology Lab 5
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Introduction Variability in stream chemistry is core phenomenal when studying geomorphology in rivers. In which case, this forms characteristics that define a drainage basin within a given point. Intuitively, various factors dictates the dissolved ion content in a stream , including geology and soil in the watershed, discharge ratio of runoff and baseflow contribution, pollutants, in-stream organic matter decomposition, soil erosion, fertilizer runoff (Rajvaidya 45). Stream chemistry involves Ph and EC. PH (-log H+) is measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution while EC measures the degree to which a solution carries an electric current, calculated as the ratio of the current density in the material to the electric field that causes the flow of current. Consequently, the complex nature of the variability calls for a study, which can provide a succinct explanation to the basis of this phenomenon.
In this lab, the major objective is to gain an understanding of how stream chemistry varies with respect to position in a drainage basin.
Specific goals
1. Develop a hypothesis.
2. Sample stream waters and learn how to measure pH and EC in the lab.
3. Learn how to calibrate a lab instrument.
4. Test hypothesis using stream chemistry results.
The stream chemistry (pH and EC) changes due to change in position
External factors such as pollutants contribute to the influence of position on stream chemistry.
Expected outcomes
The pH and EC will change when transiting from position 1 to position 3 due to different location of the points within the map.
As Ph changes from site 1 to site 2, the electrical conductivity will change in a reverse way for the same due to influence of pollutants and surface run-off.
Testing hypotheses
Data analysis was an important aspect in testing the hypotheses. In which case, data was collected for ph and EC for the different sites and tabulated. The data was then analyzed from drawing graphs for the different variables: pH vs EC, pH vs. site, EC vs. site. This allowed for testing relationship between stream chemistry and position besides testing that between pH and electrical conductivity.
Computer, Microsoft Excel, word processing software, Nalgene sample containers, calibration standards, pH and EC meters.
Water samples were collected from specified sites: Clarks River, 2: Bee Creek, 3: MCP unnamed trib. In SedSoilHuman Lab, lab Ph meter and EC meter were calibrated. Ph and EC on the water samples were measured.
Results and discussion
Figure 1: Table for field data
Field Data
Site 1
Site 2
Site 3
Low EC (micro Seimens)
High EC (micro Siemens)
Figure 2: Table for lab data
Lab Data
Low EC (micro Siemens)
Temperature C
Figure 1 and 2 were used to plot graphs for describing the relationship between the sites and the stream chemistry (EC and pH) as shown:
Figure 3: Bar graph for EC against the 3 sites
From the bar graph above, showing relationship between pH and EC, site 1 has less EC recorded than any other. For site 2 and site 3, the EC is almost the same even though site 2 has the highest.
Figure 4: Bar graph for the distribution of pH in the three sites
The bar graph above also shows the ph change from one position to another. It shows that site 1 has the highest ph followed by site 2 and lastly site 3
Figure 5: Graph plotted for Ph against EC
The graph, plotted for EC against pH, shows that as pH increases, the EC remains constant without changing. The same occurs when EC increases, whereby the Ph remains constant.
The results show that change in position contributes to the change in stream chemistry (ph and EC). This can be contributed to external factors such as pollutants, surface runoff and soil erosion. These factors vary within a river basin from one point to another. For instance, both factors affect the availability of ions at a given point. Soil erosion carry with it ions from one point to another so do pollutants add ions to their area of destination (Rajvaidya 45). In which case, increase in ions leads to increase in electrical conductivity of a solution (stream) while it leads to reduction in Ph.
Work cited
Rajvaidya, Neelima, and Dilip K. Markandey. Water: Characteristics and Properties. New Delhi: A.P.H. Pub. Corp, 2005. Print. Read More
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