Ballybay River Study Essay Sample

Ballybay River Study Pages
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Aims and Objectives –

The Ballybay River Study has introduced six new fieldwork techniques. These tasks were to measure the width and depth, wetted perimeter, channel bed gradient, current velocity and bed load of each site. The aims of the study are to work together in a group, each introducing their own knowledge, to help understand, and how to complete each tasks and to understand fully how the river channel changes and why it changes. Our aims are to find if the discharge of the Ballybay River increases downstream, if the river’s velocity decreases with distance from the source and the channel efficiency increases downstream. Plus to find out if the following hypotheses matches with the theory –

* The discharge of the Ballybay River increases downstream

* The river’s velocity increases with distance from the source

* The channel efficiency increases downstream

* The size and shapes of the river’s load varies downstream

I also aim to test four hypotheses using the data collected from the Ballybay River. To successfully use the pieces of equipment correctly, and record accurate results of the Ballybay River sites, will be our objectives. Six specific sites will be used for sampling.

The field trip will last one day, as the river study is dynamic. As if it was a two day study the data recorded on the second day would be inaccurate, as the rainfall the previous night would have effected the hypothesis being tested.

Hypothesis Testing –

The Ballybay River was chosen over other smaller rivers and tributaries as safety precautions were taken and the Ballybay River was found not to be dangerous compared to others. The depth, width and current were taken in to account and found to be safe enough for the measurements to be carried out and yet the Ballybay River is long enough to show changes in its channel from source to mouth.

Ballybay River Sites

Site

Grid. Reference

Distance from source (km)

1

933406

.5

2

943419

2.35

3

970453

7.85

4

978489

12.95

5

978513

15.5

6

008543

19.7

Next I have created four maps showing the location of the Ballybay River. The first site is closest to the source which is on high land near Gosford Forest Park. The sixth site is near Portadown and leads into the River Bann. Sites 2, 3, 4, 5 are found at various places, on long straight, tight bends or near villages. The tasks require equipment which can be seen in photographs throughout the study. The width and the depth task uses a tape measure and metre ruler. The wetted perimeter uses a chain and tape measure. The channel bed gradient includes survey poles and clinometer. For current velocity, a stream flow meter is used and bed load measures thirty random pebbles on a stone board. Using these techniques, the hypothesis should be carried out correctly. On the field trip, group work was organised. There were five groups A – E. Each group has a different task at each site, which can be found on the Group Work Organisation scheme. The data captured at each site will be recorded on Fieldwork Data Sheet.

Group Work Organisation

Site

Width + Depth

Velocity

Gradient

Load

Wetted Perimeter

1

A

B

C

D

E

2

E

A

B

C

D

3

D

E

A

B

C

4

C

D

E

A

B

5

B

C

D

E

A

6

A

B

C

D

E

Measuring Methods –

The Width and Depth of a river –

* Measure from the right bank to the left (facing upstream)

* Stretch the tape measure across the river, keeping it tight and horizontal

* Record the width

* Calculate the interval (10 readings)

* Measure the depth at each interval across the tape by placing the meter stick in the river, make sure it is touching the riverbed

* Record each depth reading (right bank to left bank)

* Keep the tape stretched across the river until all depth readings are taken

The Velocity of the Current (Using a Velocity Metre) –

* Record reading on the count metre

* Place the propeller in the flow at the chosen place, approximately 1/3 of the depth below the water surface

* Switch count metre on and allow for an interval of 1 minute

* Record reading on the count metre

* Repeat 5 times across river in different parts

The Gradient of the River Channel Bed –

* Measure a distance of 10 metres along the river

* One person holds the surveyor’s pole upstream in the middle of the channel, the other holds the pole downstream similarly placed

* The clinometre is held at the 1.5 metre mark and a sighting is taken to the 1.5m mark on the upstream pole

* The clinometre must be held so that the pointer swings freely and a reading should be records when the pointer stops moving

* Record 4 readings at each site

The Load Size and Shape –

* Randomly collect 30 stones from the river bed

* Measure its longest length and record it

* Identify its shape (rounded, sub-angular or angular)

* Return samples to river

The Wetted Perimeter of the River –

* Stretch chain across river letting it get into all cracks

* Hold chain out and measure (with a measuring tape) the length that was under water

* Record result.

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