Honors 101 - Science and the Public Good
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I. Stream Basics: http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/geol111/streams.htm

1. Know these terms:

sediment load  
oxbow lake  
natural levee  
alluvial fan  

2. How do these properties of streams change from upstream to downstream?



3. What causes streams to meander?



II. Current Conditions

1. Check out the national picture for streamflow at the USGS Waterwatch Website

a. First look at the whole country: under Current Maps/Graphs choose Daily Streamflow.

Where is there higher than normal flow today? Lower than normal? How is the Sacramento region doing?


b. Then look just at flood areas (under Flood Watch choose Flood and High Flow Map), then drought areas (under Drought Watch, choose 7-day Below Normal Streamflow). Are there any regional trends?


2. Check on the American and Sacramento Rivers at the California Dept. of Water Resources

What is the current flow on the American at the H St. Bridge (that's the bridge by the front entrance of the campus)? Click on the link under the graph to see what flood stage is on the river. Is the river near flood stage?


Now check on the Sacramento River. Why does the level of the river change during the day (notice that it's about 6 hours between highs and lows)?


3. Look at conditions on one other California river. Choose a river near your home (or that you like to visit) from the list at the California Dept. of Water Resources Flood Management Program.

Click on the name of the river to see a graph of the flow. Click on the name of the stream under the graph to find flood stage for that stream (it should be right near the top of that page, listed under River Stage Definitions). Is the river you chose near flood?