Why do you think there are no plants growing on the dunes? 3 2. Winds in the Algodunes Dune Field can reach velocities up to 60 miles per hour. This can create hazardous conditions and the need for maintenance on the canal and Interstate Route 8. What would be the hazard, and what maintenance would be needed periodically on the canal and Interstate Route 8 as a result of the hazard? 3. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management as Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area manages this region. Portions of the dunes are available for operating off-road vehicles. What effect do you think the operation of off-road vehicles here would have on plant growth and the hazards you described above? B. Death Valley occurs in the Mojave Desert. Analyze the images of the Death Valley region in Figures 7 and 8. 1. Notice in Figure 7 that steep mountainous slopes occur on both sides of Death Valley. Also notice that there is almost no soil or vegetation on the slopes. Describe what you think conditions would be like in the river valleys on these mountain slopes when heavy rain falls on them. 2. Notice the delta-like landforms that form at the mouths of the river in Figures 7 and 8, where the rivers enter the valley. Explain how you think these landforms form. 3. Notice that there is no standing water in Death Valley, even though you can see that water sometimes flows into the valley from the mountains. It is a closed basin (meaning that water has no way to drain from it). It is also the hottest and driest place in North America. When there is water on the floor of the valley, it is alkaline to salty and potable (drinkable). How do you think the water gets so alkaline and salty? 4. Suppose you could walk down to the white patches on the floor of Death Valley in Figures 7 and 8 and examine them. Predict what materials (minerals) and conditions you would find here. 4 5. Residents of Furnace Creek have grassy lawns, trees, and potable water to drink. Why do you think their water is potable? 6. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) points out that many people live in drylands, and that more than half of the world’s productive land is drylands. The challenge is to manage the land so that it does not degrade to useless desert that supports no agriculture, and to live safely. Make a list of challenges that people face when they live in drylands, and some ways that the land could be managed to make it safer and more productive. C. Mojave Desert, Death Valley California. Death Valley is located in the USGS 15-minute Furnace Creek, California quadrangle (provided on the back of this activity sheet). It is the large valley (graben) in the middle of the map and the lowest valley in the United States (Figures 7 and 8). The mountains on each side of the valley are horsts (Figure 9). 1. Notice on Figure 10 that the intermittent stream that drains from the upstream end of the alluvial fan/arroyo system A to the playa at E. How would the grain size of the sediments along this stream change as you walk downslope from the high arroyo to the playa (E)? Why? 2. The floor of most grabens is tilted, because fault movement is usually greater on one side of the graben than the other. There are also half grabens, valleys developed along only one normal fault. Carefully examine Figure 10 for evidence of faults on either or both sides of Death Valley. Do you think that Death Valley is a graben or a half graben? 3. Notice that people chose to build a ranch on an alluvial fan C, even though this entire region is dryland. What do you think was the single most important reason why those people chose this alluvial fan C for their ranch instead of one of the other fans? 5 IV. Glaciers and Drylands Laboratory Reflection Directions: Write a reflection of the lab activity, explaining its purpose, the methods used, the results obtained, and a brief personal reflection of what you enjoyed and learned about doing this lab. 1) What was the purpose of this lab? What did you actually discover and learn during this lab? 2) What did you enjoy most about this lab? Also, what was challenging or thought provoking? 6 Figure 1 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 2 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 3 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 4 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 5 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 6 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 7 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 8 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 9 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Figure 10 © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.
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