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GEOG415

Final Examination Sample Set

April 14, 2003

1. Answer the following questions regarding soil water.


(a) What is soil tension?
(b) What is capillary fringe? How does it depend on soil-particle size?
(c) What is water table? How is it defined?

elevation (m)

2. The diagram shows a hydrogeological cross section including a stream and two water-table
wells. Hydraulic conductivity of the fluvial sand aquifer is 2 10-3 m s-1. Estimate the rate of
groundwater discharge (m3 s-1) received by a 60-m section of the stream assuming that the
topography and geology is symmetric across the stream.
60 m

980
977
970

974
fluvial sand
clay-rich till

960
0

100
distance (m)

200

3. Answer the following questions regarding runoff and stream discharge.


(a) Explain the variable source concept.
(b) What is depression storage? How does it affect the generation of Horton overland flow?
(c) Within a region having similar climate and topography, both bankfull discharge (Qbkf) and mean
annual discharge (Qave) of a drainage basin are related to the basin size (DA). Briefly explain the
relations and comment on the difference between Qbkf-DA relation and Qave-DA relation.

4. Consider a shallow lake. Given the following information, estimate the rate of evaporation
(mm d-1) using the Bowen ratio method. Assume that the advection and storage of energy are
negligible.
Daily mean air temperature at 2 m above the lake surface = 14.5 C
Daily mean vapor pressure at 2 m = 8.5 mb
Daily mean lake surface temperature = 18.0 C
Daily mean atmospheric pressure = 920 mb
Net radiation = 13 106 J m-2 d-1
Note: Part mark will be given to each step of calculation ONLY IF the steps are logically
presented.

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5. Consider a section (1 mile 1 mile) of land near Hanna, Alberta.
The soil in this section is derived from glacial till, and has
moderately fine to fine texture. Presently NW and NE quarter
sections are left as lightly grazed pasture, SW quarter section is
cultivated in straight row and cropped to wheat (small grain), and SE
quarter section is cultivated in straight row and close-seeded with
alfalfa. It is in the middle of growing season and there has been no
rain for the last five days.
Estimate the total runoff generated from the entire section during a
storm event with 102 mm of rain.

1 mile

NW

NE

SW

SE

6. Answer following questions regarding methods for measuring hydrological parameters.


(a) What are the advantages and disadvantages of Thornthwaite method for estimating potential
evapotranspiration?
(b) What are the advantages and disadvantages of temperature index method for estimating
snowmelt?
(c) List at least three methods for measuring hydraulic conductivity and discuss the advantages
and disadvantages.
(d) List a few methods to measure or estimate stream discharge and discuss the advantages and
disadvantages.

Answers for selected questions


(2) 0.063 m3 s-1
(4) 4.5 mm d-1
(5) 57500 m3