GEOG 3P83 Midterm Exam Notes

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20 Apr 2012

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Environmental Importance
- Critical to sustain organisms and ecosystems on Earth
- Some organisms up to 90% water weight
- Necessary for ecosystems to survive
- Humans 70-75% of water
- WW2 go after German dams
- Remove their water
- Used it for their own emissions
- Tension between Turkey and Iraq
Threats to Fresh Water
- Over population: proper water and sanitation
- Climate change
- Pollution (agriculture, industrial, runoff)
- Urban Sprawl
- Over fishing
- Deforestation (forest degradation, forest fires)
Peter Glaick It is an unnecessary crisis
- There has been signs of small and large successes
Water in the Solar System
- Water is a unique substance essential for life
- Probably throughout the universe
- Earth is special
o Water exists in three states
o Exists in large quantities (approximately 70%)
- Position in solar system allows water to exist in three states
Where did water come from?
- Originated with icy comets and other cosmic debris
- Water in the planet released through outgassing at surface
- Overtime as cooling occurred, water collected at surface
Global Balance: amount of water has stayed relatively stable over the last 2 billion years
Unique Properties
- Pure water (no colour, taste or smell)
- Water molecule (hydrogen bond)
- Readily combine/difficult to separate
- Constant movement/interactions
- Strong forces of attraction
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Hydrosphere Distribution
- Uneven distribution (50-70 billion people can access less than 1%)
Hydrosphere water balance
- “Closed system”
- Flows between land/ocean/atmosphere
- Described as a positive or negative flow
- Global balance for atmosphere = 0
- Global precipitation = global evaporation
97% of water is too salty, 2% is in glaciers and 1% available to us
Water Heritage
- Develop agriculture and animal domestication
- Settlements and population grow so does the need for water (begin to move where it is needed)
Middle East: Mesopotamia
- 1st place of irrigation
- Irrigation has been important for about 6000 years
- Low rainfall and two rivers
o Unpredictable floods (Tigris & Euphrates)
o Made it difficult to manage resource
- However they did
o Weirs and dams create reservoirs to diver to canals (acted as a drain)
o Taxes/laws governed use of water
o Organized maintenance of system
- Edges of Sahara
- Sustained itself for 5000 years with waters of Nile
o No water through rain so all water sources come from Nile
- Nile Flooding
o Predictable (compared to Mesopotamia)
o At peak, flood would cover the entire floodplain
o Well watered fields and natural fertilization
o “Night of the Drop” created by Gods for irritation
o Important link between society and nile flood
o People developed system to measure flood waters
- Irrigation
o Controlled locally by farmers
o Once population increased, they began irrigation
o Earliest evidence of water management
o Basin irrigation: Earthen banks create basins to hold water
o Did not experience problems because of sustainability
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- Region: semi-arid and arid landscapes
- People developed ingenious water supply
- Water challenges and pipes channelled water to cisterns
- People used 3 sources of water
o Springs from mountains
o Rainwater collection system
o Well
- Multiple system provides security and enough water for pools, gardens, baths and fountains
Qanat (Kanat)
- Unique development of water resources
- Part well/aqueduct/tunnel
- Dig down by hang until they hit the water table
- Originated in Iran
- The idea spread to Persians, Islam, Romans
- Still used in many regions as water supply
- Advantages
o Reduces loss to evaporation
o No need for pumps
o Can be used as a sustainable resource
o Rate of flow controlled naturally
o Ability to hold water underground for periods of high droughts
Early Greek System
- Hydrollic technology further developed by Greeks
o Collecting, storing and transporting water
o Acropolis: natural defendable and water supply
Engineering Marvel
- Tunnel of Eupalihos (Samos Islands)
o Excavated from both ends
o Over a kilometer long
o Built on 6th century BC dug through limestone
Roman Water Use
- Greatest builders of water distribution system in the ancient world
- Aqueducts
- Build through the roman empire
- Structure still standing
- Romans not the first to use aqueducts (but most famous)
- Ground level, underground, elevated
- Inverted siphon
- Variety of material
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