1. Describe the paths of water through the hydrologic cycle. Explain the processes and the energy gains and losses involved in the changes of water between its 3 states. Operationally, we are often most concerned with what water does when it reaches the solid earth, both on the surface and in the sub-surface. Explain the relationship between the saturated zone, the water table, a ground water well and the cone of depression, all within the sub-surface. The fluctuations in the earth’s temperature cause water to change states. When, the air cools for example, water vapor condenses and forms clouds.
When these clouds are unable to hold the water, it comes down as precipitation which can be in form of rain, hail or snow. After precipitation, three processes occur simultaneously, which are often referred to as infiltration, run-off and evaporation. Infiltration refers to the water that passes through the earths surfaces which collect underground and is called groundwater. When the rate of precipitation is faster than the rate of infiltration, excess water becomes run-off and usually forms streams which lead to larger bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans.
Groundwater also contributes to these larger bodies of water. On the sub-surface level, there is now a more complex relationship between the saturated zone, the water table, ground water wells and the cone of depression. First off, the amount of groundwater collected is dependent on the permeability, or its capacity to let through substances, of the ground surface. When one tries to dig through the ground, the first level that one breaks through to get to the area where water collects is called the water table or the upper level of the zone of water saturation.
Beneath this level is where huge quantities of groundwater is available and this referred to as the aquafier. When one wants access to this water resource, one can dig a ground water well and pump the water out or draw it out through a pulley and a pail. As earlier mentioned, the process of Name of client 2 infiltration is responsible for the collection and formation of groundwater stores when water passes through the permeable ground surface towards the aquafier and gathers into the porous rocks. There has to be sufficient amount of “saturation” of water for a well to be sustained.
Pumping water can have adverse effects to the water cycle if the drawing of water is faster than the rate precipitation and the rate of the water being replenished through infiltration. This rate of replenishment is also dependent of the permeability of the ground, the aquafier and its capacity to hold water. If the volume of water pumped is greater than the volume of water brought by infiltration, then the well can eventually dry up and the flow of groundwater to larger bodies of water is also affected.
When a well is created, a cone of depression is formed which is basically a description of what the surface of the aquafier will look like if water is continuously drawn out. The surrounding walls will form a drop, and eventually, the level of water will drop. Again, this can affect the rain patterns, groundwater and stream flows and on a larger scale, even, create geologic changes. 2. The food chain is a valuable concept in biogeography. Give an example of a specific food chain, labeling the various levels of the food chain.
After looking at characteristics of food chains, explain how a geographer’s approach to the study of organisms might be different than biologist’s study of organisms; what would each try to emphasize more than the other? What exactly is a biome? Compare/contrast the concept of the biome with that of the zoogeographic region. Compare/contrast the floral characteristics of 2 of the following biomes: Desert, Tundra, Midlatitude Grassland and Boreal Forest. There is sensitive balance involved in nature’s food chain. The prey-predator relationship maintains ecological harmony and equilibrium. Certain organisms play
Name of client 3 certain roles in greater interplay in nature. For example, insects are largely responsible for pollination while fruit bats scatter seeds and promote the sustainability of fruit-bearing trees and plants in any given forest. From a biologist point of view, the food chain can also be viewed as a transfer of energy. The connection in the chain is established by one organism feeding on another, starting from a plant and ends with an animal. For example, in a simple African food chain that starts with Acacia trees which are eaten by giraffes which are in turn hunted by lions.
A biologist would note that as one goes up the chain, one notices that there is a disproportionate ratio between the predators (carnivores) and the prey (either herbivores or omnivores), wherein there are always a lesser number of carnivores than herbivores and/or omnivores in any given ecosystem. The reason being that more less and less energy is available (since it is wasted in the process of being transferred as we go up the food chain) therefore carnivores need to consume more herbivores to get the energy they need.
On the other hand, a geographer may be more concerned about the number of Acacia trees, giraffes and lions that reside in a certain area, the rate in which they deplete each other’s number and how this affects the ecosystem in that particular area. Now, in a given ecosystem, the conditions available – both climactic and geographic – define its ecological classification. Those that share similar conditions comprise the ecological community called a biome. It is necessarily different from a zoogeographic zone in that the latter incorporates historical, taxonomic, ecological and even genetic contexts in the mark-up of a certain ecosystem.
Name of client 4 In a comparative analysis of the floral characteristics of grasslands and tundras, there is a glaring difference. In a grassland there is an abundance of hoofed animals and so consequently, the plant life available respond to abundance of herbivores. In a tundra, on the other hand, plants are unable to root deep or grow out their roots so only hardy herbs and low shrubs are able to survive the permanently extremely cold climate. There is also an abundance of lichen which somewhat of an algae-fungus hybrid. 3.
Theorize the difference in soil development in adjoining soils developed on forested, sloped area versus a grassed flat area. What are the soil-forming factors? Explain the importance of the nature of the parent material to soil formation and type. Then, cite at least 2 examples in which the influence of parent materials might be outweighed by other soil-forming factors. Explain the `struggle` between the internal and external processes in shaping the Earth’s surface. What are the different ways that the surface of the Earth is changed over time?
Soil density in flat areas is understandably greater than those in a sloped area. There is due to fact that sloped areas are more prone to surface water run-off and necessarily, more soil erosion. The difference between the vegetation (i. e. grasslands and the forests) also contributes greatly to the soil development. However, the level of erosion is dependent on many factors like the degree of the slope, the type of vegetation and its distribution, the levels of porosity and collapsibility. So it is difficult to be definite in our comparison except if there are specific land samples to be analyzed.
With regard to soil formation, this usually starts with the process of rocks being broken down into smaller pieces over time by many environmental elements (i. e. rain) and then gets mixed with organic materials from deteriorating body mass (i. e. from dead Name of client 5 animals and plants) which later forms the parent material. Over time, horizons are formed. Horizon a is the layer closest to the surface and is richest in minerals, followed by layer B which contains leached materials, and lastly, there is horizon c which contains more minerals and retains the characteristics of the parent material the most.
Flat areas may contain more deposits of minerals since these have a higher probability of getting collected due to the lack of elevation. 4. Describe the general sequence of events in continental drift since the time of 5 separate continents 450 million years ago. What is the difference between the older continental drift theory by Wegener and the more recent plate tectonic theory? Plate tectonics theory explains many seemingly unrelated phenomena. Explain how the patterns of volcanoes and earthquakes related to plate tectonics.
Explain several pieces of evidence that combine to make the theory of plate tectonics the one that is generally accepted. The continental drift theory and the plate tectonics theory are not really contradictory and in fact may even be corollary since many of the explanations of the latter, explain the presuppositions of the former. The continental drift theory by Alfred Wegener suggests that all the present-day continents used to attached to each other in one super-island called Pangaea and he attributes the gradual breaking down to the earth’s rotation.
This was gradually accepted as a valid theory since it is evidenced by the similarity of the minerals present in the outskirts of the continents and also that noticeably, the continents are shaped in such a way that they can pieced together. On the other hand, the plate tectonic theory forwards that there are plates underneath the earth’s surface that are constantly moving and that these leads to earthquakes which contribute to the breaking apart of the earth’s land surface. Name of client 6
Apparently, the strongest evidence of this claim is an island in North Carolina in the United States of America which is recorded to move at least half an inch every year and continues to do so. The second theory is more popularly accepted due to the fact that the tectonic movement has been proven to be verifiable and is the more logical explanation as opposed to the earth’s rotation. 5. Provide a reason why some scientists believe the Pleistocene is over and a reason why other scientists believe we are now in an interglacial stage.
Some believe, for example, that since areas of pack ice and glacial ice still exist we are still in an ice age. Others, on the other hand, seeing the rapid retreat of ice and snow pack in many areas, believes that this period of glaciation has ended. So, using some other justifications, why do we see some differences in interpretation? Is there some scientific data available that can support both sides view? If so, provide it. Why hasn’t this controversy been solved? What impact does this division of views have on the public policies that are enacted by state, national and international bodies?
The climate change which has been repeatedly reported to have created many dramatic changes all over the globe is a phenomenon that some are still unwilling to accept. More popularly known as the Global Warming, it has been the main reason why many scientists believe that the end of the Ice age has come. There has been many evidences of rapid increase the water levels in the world due to the fact that many of the ice glaciers are melting in a rather alarming rate. This melting Name of client 7
due to global warming has led to the death of many animals that naturally inhabit these cold areas. But on a larger scale, the environmental impacts are rather devastating since it did not only result to an increase in the water levels but it also pushes more water in land leading to the submerging of some islands, and the change in water temperature has also greatly disrupted the marine ecosystem. The reason why there hasn’t been sufficient legislative and political response to this is I believe due to the reason, that well, Algore was right, it is a rather inconvenient truth.
And to acknowledge it tantamounts to making dramatic changes to environmental policy which can greatly affect the economy of many countries and this is an action many are still unwilling to do. List of references: Dvorak, B. Earthscape: The Hydrologic Cycle. www. und. nodak. edu. Canada: AWRA, 2007. Ellis, T. What is the Continental Drift Theory? US: Conjecture Corporation, 2003. Kazlev, A. Paleos Cenozonic. June 5, 2009. www. Paleos. com. US: Kepher Site, April 8, 2002
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