Geology 140 - Environmental Geology
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Potential Exam Questions, Exam #2

Potential Short Answer Questions

  1. Explain how the gradient, velocity, discharge and sediment load of a stream are related. Be sure to define each term in your answer
  2. In the diagram of the stream (provided at the exam),
  3. Describe four factors that impact flooding, and give specific examples of floods associated with at least two factors.
  4. Describe at least five ways people increase the risk from flooding.
  5. Explain two methods of controlling damage from floods by managing development.
  6. Explain where the sand on the beach comes from, how it moves, and how the beach changes over the year.
  7. Examine the picture you are given. How have the structures shown changed the coastline? What caused the change? What further changes might you expect in the future?
  8. What is the difference between conventional petroleum and tar sands/oil shales in a) the nature of the petroleum and the tar, b) how the resource is extracted and c) how expensive it is to produce?
  9. Explain how groundwater is stored, and how pumping water from a well can potentially cause the well to become contaminated. Be sure to use and define these words: water table, aquifer.
  10. In the picture (to be shown at the exam), what kind of landslide has occurred? How have humans helped to cause this landslide?
  11. Explain the difference between the driving forces and resisting forces in landslides. Describe two ways people increase the driving forces, and two ways people reduce the resisting forces.

Potential Essay Questions

1. Developing adequate water supplies for drinking, irrigation and comercial use has always been a challenge in the American West.

Please use information and examples from at least three of these presentations or reading assignments in answering this question:

2. In class, we considered the idea that a natural disaster is the result of society's response to natural hazards. We cannot stop earthquakes from happening, volcanoes from erupting, or rivers from overflowing. There are a variety of things we can do to help lower the risk of a disaster resulting from these hazards, and to help reduce the damage when a disaster occurs.

Choose two of the following natural hazards:

For each of the hazards you have chosen:


3. You are a consultant to the new White House Task Force on Energy. The goal of the task force is to recommend new funding priorities to the Congress in developing a sustainable energy policy. The policy must include some conventional and some alternative energy sources.