Water-Earth Dynamics, Challenge 1: A Texas Panhandle Whodunit

Generate Ideas

Your teacher will divide you into teams comprising four to six students to answer questions that will provide the knowledge base that you need to address the challenge.  Use the resources listed under "Multiple Perspectives" to help you find the answers.  When you have finished, your team will share your answers and ideas with the other students in the class.  This exercise will help you find out what you already know and identify critical gaps in your knowledge on the topic.

Essential Questions

  1. How does water shape the surface of the Earth, creating relief (terrain)?
  2. What is the role of water in weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition?
  3. How does water participate in the dissolution and precipitation of materials at, or near, Earth’s surface?
  4. What features (landforms) reveal the influence of water on the surface of the Earth?
  5. How has water sculpted the terrain of the Llano Estacado?
  6. A map is a graphic representation of a portion of the Earth's surface drawn to scale, as seen from above.  It uses colors, symbols, and labels to represent features found on the ground.  A map provides information on the existence, the location of, and the distance between ground features, such as cities and routes of travel.  It also indicates variations in terrain, depicts natural features, and shows the extent of vegetation cover.  What can you learn about the impact of water on a landscape from reading a topographic map?
  7. Google Earth is a virtual globe, map, and geographic information program that can be installed on a personal computer and manipulated.  Google Earth uses satellite images and aerial photography with Geographic Information System (GIS) data.  How can you use Google Earth to explore the impact of water on a landscape?
  8. Today, the Llano Estacado is an arid region.  However, 12,500 years before present (BP) large rivers and lakes, which formed from the melting of large ice sheets that covered much of North America, left their mark on the landscape.  What features on the Llano Estacado provide evidence of a wetter past?
  9. During the Holocene epoch, Paleoindians occupied the Llano Estacado.  What aspects of the landscape and natural resources helped their cultures to flourish?
  10. Imagine that you are a Paleoindian pioneer 10,000 years BP.  Where would you establish settlements?