Problems and Solutions Essay
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During the study, inevitably problems were encountered; these are described below as well as possible solutions to these difficulties. Problem: This problem only applies to hypotheses one and two. As mentioned in the above paragraphs, the stretch of the river Lyd in which the study was undertaken is approximately a quarter of the length of the whole river. The results therefore do not represent the whole river but merely one quarter of it.
Although geographical theories for both hypotheses one and two state the two variables (discharge and cross sectional area) should increase as the river makes its way downstream, these concepts suggest that there should be a significant increase in the two variables between the source and the mouth.
On this basis, should we have measured the variables at each end of the river, a considerable difference may have occurred.
Solution: The course could be divided into various sections, in each section at twelve equally spaced sites; the measurements would then be taken. Averages would then be calculated to establish the mean measurement of the variable within each section, a represented sample of each section of the course would then be shown, and this may then demonstrate a stronger more reliable correlation.
Problem: It is extremely challenging to measure the velocity of a river, due to the fact that each part of the river flows at varying speeds. For example the water in a channel flows at the greatest speed in the middle of the channel, as this is where least friction is found. Due to the fault in the flowmeter, the second method had to be used to measure the velocity; this method measures the velocity of the surface as the ‘ping pong’ ball floats in water. However, the flowmeter measures the velocity just below the surface and so the results are not consistent in the respect that the same part of the river was not measured at each site. This affects hypothesis one as discharge is calculated using the velocity of the river.
Solution: This problem was unavoidable as it was the fault and the unreliability of the equipment. Problem: The title of the investigation is fairly general and extensive in respect to the areas in which the study has to cover, although only three hypotheses were chosen there several other hypothesis options available. Solution: Create another title such as: ‘Investigate changes in river channel morphology’
Problem: This investigation demonstrates the changes of river characteristics in only one way, this being hypothesis three – the larger the wetted perimeter, the greater the discharge. Solution: Investigate different hypotheses such as, ‘the greater the hydraulic radius, the greater the discharge.’ On this basis, it is difficult to suggest that this study has achieved the aim of its title i.e. ‘How do river characteristics vary downstream?’ However, this may be due to the inappropriate methods of data collection, explained in the first problem.