Enquiry Approach for Rivers Fieldwork

Topics: Sampling, Sample size, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient Pages: 9 (2743 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Enquiry Approach for Rivers Fieldwork
The issue that I will be investigating is whether there is any link between the different areas of a river and its discharge at these areas. My hypothesis that I will investigate is whether, “Discharge of a river increases with the distance from the source of the river.” I have created three different sub-questions that I will answer once I collected some data. These are: * Does velocity increase downstream?

* Does width increase downstream?
* Does depth increase downstream?
The location of my survey is the River Alderbrook.
I have also conducted a pilot survey where I will undertake a few measurements in a small area of the river. I have done this to test the equipment and to make sure the location is suitable to carry out the survey and conclude that my hypothesis can be proven and sub questions can be answered. I have also done this to check that the area is accessible. I have also conducted a risk assessment. I have visited the location to assess the hazards and their severity. We also considered health and safety issues in terms of appropriate clothing and prevention of contact with dirty water. I have then filled forms to comply with legislation. The equipment we used was a meter rule, tape and a flow meter which measures the velocity of the river at a certain point. We planned the data that we collected including depth, width, velocity, wetted perimeter, wetted width, bank-full width and sediment size. The table we used was clear to read and can be used in the field. It also contains the calculations we have to calculate after recording the data from the field. We chose to use a sampling strategy because we were unable to measure the whole river from source to mouth, (whole population). The sample we chose to do was a SYTEMATIC SAMPLE. This sample is the best one to use because it chooses sampling points at regular intervals along the whole river. We chose to use 10 metres as the interval. This is the best sampling strategy to use because it gives a representation of the whole population. This type of sample is better than a random sample because the sample taken may be biased towards one side. Also random sampling can be vulnerable to sampling error because the randomness of the selection may result in a sample that doesn't reflect the makeup of the population. We checked the weather to make sure that it would not affect the data that we were going to collect. For example, if it was really hot then it would affect the depth of the river as evaporation would be greater. This would affect one of my sub questions. Data Collection

Hypothesis: “Discharge of a river increases with the distance from the source of the river.” Sub Questions:
* Does velocity increase downstream?
* Does width increase downstream?
* Does depth increase downstream?
The reasons for choosing the River Alderbrook as our location for our survey was because it was nearby to where we obtained the equipment and planned the investigation. Also the river easily accessible as the land either side of the area is not owned. On the one side is a park and on the other is the college. Also the river is the right size and scale to carry out the investigation. The river is not too big so it becomes too risky. On the other hand it is not too small so that no changes are visible. The discharge of a river is the volume of water which flows through it in a given time. It is usually measured in cubic meters per second (Cumecs). The velocity is the speed of the river. It is measured in metres per second (m/s). The cross sectional area is the depth of the river multiplied by the width of the river at the same point. It is area is measured in metres (m2). The cross sectional and the velocity are used to calculate the discharge of the river. (Cross sectional area x velocity) Data was collected from 20 sites along a 1.5km stretch of river ending at the confluence of the River Alderbrook with the...
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