Legacy Cycle B: Water-Earth Dynamics

On land, different systems temporarily store and move water.  Networks of streams cover the continents, returning rain and snowfall to the oceans.  This flow shapes the land surface through physical and chemical weathering, erosion, transport, and deposition.  Water participates in both the dissolution and formation of Earth's materials.  The storage and movement of water on land also has impacts on the terrestrial biosphere and marine systems, especially in coastal wetlands and estuaries where water meets the sea.

Challenge 1: Geomorphology — A Texas Panhandle Whodunit

You are a consultant whom a landowner has hired to work with a geoforensic scientist to look for evidence of a Paleoindian settlement in the Texas Panhandle and develop an exhibit showing the evolution of the landscape since the Last Glacial Maximum.  Your exhibit will show how water has influenced climate, sculpted the landscape, and ultimately driven the migration and settlement of humans, and other life, on the Llano Estacado.

Challenge 2: Know Your Watershed

The Texas Water Development Board, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board are collaborating on the development of watershed protection plans for Texas.  Your school has been asked to help these agencies by conducting a survey of the watershed in which you live.

Challenge 3: Groundwater—Knowing What We've Got Before It's Gone

You are participating in the annual Austin School of Film/SXSW Film competition.  You and your team must make a short documentary film/video entitled "Texas Groundwater — Knowing What We've Got Before It's Gone."  Your film/video must compare the Ogallala Aquifer with the Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone) Aquifer, in terms of geology and hydrologic regime, and describe how these factors influence the aquifers' susceptibility to contamination and groundwater withdrawal.

Target Audience: High school, especially students taking Aquatic Science, Earth and Space Science, Environmental Systems, and Advanced Placement Environmental Science.


Teacher Background Information