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GEOG 1200 Study Guide - Final Guide: Soil Structure, Afforestation, Land Rehabilitation

17 pages42 viewsFall 2012

Department
Geography
Course Code
GEOG 1200
Professor
Lorne Bennett
Study Guide
Final

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Lorne Bennett
Human Impact on the Environment
Chapter 6
1) The hydrological cycle and links with the Earth’s life support system
The hydraulic cycle is a great flow system characterized by exchanges of water among
the five major reservoirs. It is the means of supplying water to the land masses and
exchanging the salt water of the oceans for freshwater. What allows for the cycle to flow
is the movement of the cycle is a result of surface heat driven by earth’s absorption of
solar radiation.
The major links to the earth’s life support system are, water reservoir (Oceans, icecaps,
glacier), ground water (Aquifer) and surface water (Wetlands, lakes and ponds)
2) The supply or distribution of water on Earth
- 97.4% oceans
-2.594% glaciers, ice caps
-0.003% Freshwater sources (groundwater, lakes, ponds)
3) Terms such as groundwater mining versus safe aquifer yield, aquifer (unconfined
and confined), porosity, permeability, inflows (recharge) and outflows (discharge),
salt water intrusion
Groundwater: The mass gravity water that occupies the subsoil and upper bedrock zone;
the water occupies the subsoil and upper bedrock zone; the water occupying the based
zone of saturation below the soil- water zone.
Mining: the act of extracting ores or coal etc from the earth
Safe aquifer yield: The rate at which water can be pumped from an aquifer without
significant decline in the aquifer
Aquifer (Confined) and Aquifer (Unconfined): Any subsurface material that’s holds a
relatively large quantity of usable groundwater and is able to transmit that water readily.
Porosity: The total volume of pore (void) space in a given volume of rock or soil;
expressed as the percentage of void volume to the total volume of the soil or rock sample.
Permeability: is a measure of the ability of a porous material (often, a rock or
unconsolidated material) to transmit fluids.
Inflows: In hydrology, the inflow of a body of water is the source of the water in the body
of water. It can also refer to the average volume of incoming water in unit time. It is
contrasted with outflow.
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Outflows: The outward flow of air from a weather system. From a thunderstorm, it is the
result of cold downdrafts, and its passage includes a wind shift and temperature drop
Discharge: the rate of water flow in a stream channel; measured as the volume of the
water passing through a cross-section of a stream per unit of time, commonly expressed
as cubic feet (or meters) per second. Also applies to groundwater
Salt water intrusion: The invasion of saltwater into fresh groundwater because of over
pumping of the fresh groundwater; a problem in coastal areas.
4) Issues associate with the spatial (local to global) and temporal (short-term to
long-term) distribution of water
There are three main distributions:
1- Spatial distribution (local and global) – surplus/ deficts in rich/poor countries
2- Temporal distribution: (short-term to long-term) –seasonal (droughts in summer) –
water-poor
growing seasons
5) The term drought
Drought: A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a
deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently
below average precipitation
6) Issues linked to human impact such as access to water, demand for water,
efficiency of water use, contamination of water; and associated agricultural /
industrial / domestic water use issues
1- Access to water: Natural verses human created structures, tap water vs river water
2- Demand for water: Rapidly rising demands as the pace of industrialization and
population
increase, resource depletion, agricultural vs. industrial
3- Efficiency of water use: the concept of privatization verses public ownership, a lot
used for agriculture. High consumption of the amount of water we have taken
4- Contamination of water: Ground water contamination (the solution to pollution is
dilution, point source vs non point source, agricultural/ industrial/ domestic water use)
7) Terms such as point source / non-point source pollution, groundwater
vulnerability, storm water, first-flush flow, well-head protection, cultural
eutrophication
Point source pollution: Water pollution emanating from a specific source such as a
factory and released at a known discharge point
Non point source: Water pollution generated by spatially dispersed, usually non specific,
sources such as agriculture. Most storm water is nonpoint source pollution
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Ground Water vulnerability: The susceptibility of an aquifers to pollution from land
use, spills, and other sources.
Storm water: water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to
apply to water that originates with snowmelt or runoff water from overwatering that
enters the stormwater system.
First flush flow: run off produced from the first part of a rainstorm that flushes land use
surfaces of pollutants
Well-head protected: Management of groundwater pollution sources within the drainage
area serving a well.
Cultural Eutrophication: is the process that speeds up natural eutrophication because of
human activity. Due to clearing of land and building of towns and cities, runoff water is
accelerated and more nutrients such as phosphates and nitrate are supplied to the lakes
and ponds.
8) Terms such as consumptive versus non-consumptive water use which differ from
the terms withdrawal and consumption
Consumptive versus: water use in which the water is not returned to the environment in
a liquid form; for example, irrigation leading to evaporation
Non- consumptive water: water use in which the water is returned to the environment in
a liquid form; example water used as a cooling medium in power plant
9) Physical, chemical and biological forms of water contamination
Contamination of water: ~ ground water contamination
~ Surface water contamination (point source: Discharge of
contaminant at a specific point)
Physical: Sediments and heat
Chemical: Excess Nutrients and hazardous chemicals
Biological: Pathogens (A disease or a germ agent)
10) Examples of the mismanagement of water
Walkerton (factory waste)
Aral Sea: overuse :1950s Soviet Union diverts water for irrigation
Aral Sea shrinks: 1990s Soviet Union breaks up, 5 countries working to replenish it
Saudi Arabia: overuse: harvesting wheat in a desert using groundwater, self-sufficient for
20 years, aquifer depleted
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