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Geo 1300 Final Notes.pdf

Course Code
GEOG 1300
Katelyn Congreves
Study Guide

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Weather: the short term condition of the atmosphere. Temperature, air pressure relative
humidity, wind speed and direction, daylength and sun angle are important elements
that contribute to weather
4 Air Mass Categories (5 MC ON WEATHER IN GENERAL)
1. Arctic: very cold
2. Polar: take shape at 90 degrees latitude (both N and S), cold
3. Equatorial: warm
4. Tropical: form in low latitude areas, moderately warm
!- air masses affect temperature, humidity and stability
Classification Options
- (humidity factor: C for continental, M for maritime)
-other letter defines latitude
E - equatorial
A - arctic
mT - maritime tropical
cT - continental tropical
mP - maritime polar
cP - continental polar
Life Cycle of a Midlatitude Cyclone
-cyclogenesis: fronts meet, warm air pushed over cold air, warm air moves north on
east side of low pressure area, cold air mass moves south, causes a rotation
-occluded stage: cold air mass moves faster and pinches the warm air
-dissolving stage: uplift of warm air over cold air is cut off
- Characteristics Of Cyclone
-frontal lifting: circulation draws in air, warm air forced up over cold air
-low surface pressure at center, “eye of the storm”
-converging surface wind: warm air moves N, cold air moves S
- Movements
-storm tracks: typical movements where cyclones commonly occur
-generally flow in prevailing winds east to west (Westerlies) curve
prominently poleward into midlatitudes
-SO: usually moving towards the poles
-formed in 3 stages:
-1) cumulus stage: low pressure system, convergence and rising air
-2) mature stage: air moves up, eventually hits tropopause and can’t rise
anymore, updraft turns into downdraft moving towards surface
-3) dissipating stage: most of the air is so dense that there is no longer an
updraft, only a downdraft

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-2 layers of wind (strong and weak) cause air drafts to rotate along a horizontal axis
-low pressure updraft forms along axis, once updraft is strong enough it pulls up the
spinning air draft
-now have a vertical spinning air draft
!- measured on Fujita Scale: 5 Levels
Tropical Storms
-tropical storms have winds just under 119km/h
-if higher, it’s either a hurricane (atlantic), typhoon (indian ocean, australia) or
cyclone (pacific)
Hydrologic Cycle (4 MC & 1 SA ON FLUVIAL SYSTEMS)
- describes the transfer of water among the atmosphere, lakes and streams, glaciers,
soil, subsurface, plants and animals and oceans
- involves water in 3 states (liquid, solid, gas)
- can refer to fresh, brackish or salt water
Surface Water
- either a) flows over land or b) soaks into soil
- percolation: water moving deeper into the soil
Soil Water Balance Equation:
Moisture Supply = Actual Moisture Demand + Moisture Surplus +/- Moisture Savings
!- expressed in units of length (e.g. mm)
!- assumes to have evenly fallen over area
!- rain gauges collect precipitation at the surface
- basically, water inputs = the outputs +/- changes in water stores
If you collected 50 mm in a rain gauge at your house in Guelph over 1 day how many
mm of rain fell over the city of Guelph over 1 day?
!Answer: 50 mm
!!-> rain is spread the same in the specific area
What is the volume of water which fell on the city?
!Answer: 50mm x 86km2 = 4300m3
Soil and Water Terminology
- Infiltration: water seeping downward into the soil
- Percolation: water moving downward through the soil or porous rock in the subsurface
- Throughflow: the lateral movement of water through the upper soil horizons
- most water reaches rivers by throughflow

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- important for base-flow, storm-flow and generating saturation-excess overland
- Runoff: when the soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water flows over the land
Evapotranspiration Pattern:
- more evapotranspiration in the South (warm temperature, closer to tropics)
- during summer, evapotranspiration is greater than precipitation --> water deficit
- during spring/fall, precipitation is greater than evapotranspiration --> water surplus
3 Types of Soil Moisture
1. Hygroscopic H2O
- inaccessible to plants, thin layer tightly bound to soil particles via hydrogen bond
- wilting point: only inaccessible water remains, plants wilt and die
2. Capillary H2O
- accessible to plant roots, held against gravity in soil by hydrogen bonds
- water moves downward in large pores between soil particles
3. Gravitational H2O
- when soil becomes saturated after a precipitation event
- percolated from shallow capillary zone to the deeper groundwater zone
- water in the saturated zone below the water table (lies beneath surface, beyond the
soil moisture root zone)
- to measure: drill holes to measure water table and porosity
- over-pumping: an overuse of groundwater (occurs in Waterloo)
-aquifer: rock layer permeable to groundwater flow, adequate for wells and springs
-aquiclude: rock that can not conduct water in useable amounts
2 Types of Aquifers
1. Confined Aquifer
- bounded above and below by impermeable layers of rock or sediment
- water level rises due to the pressure of its own weight ---- but can be contaminated at
the beginning of the confined aquifer
2. Unconfined Aquifer (aka water table)
- impermeable layer below and above it, water flows freely but requires pumping
- can be contaminated (would occur in the zone of aeration which then leads down to
the water table)
Groundwater and Baseflow
- baseflow: the “normal” level of a stream between events of greater discharge (i.e.
storm flow)
- primarily composed of water discharged to stream from deeper groundwater and
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