Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
||Experiments in Geomorphology
||Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen, Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen,
||+44 (0)1224 272337
||+44 (0)1224 272331
These are laboratory-based student projects taking place in the latter half of a unit in Applied and Engineering Geomorphology. On the basis of the concepts already delivered in lectures, and wider reading, individual students are encouraged to design and carry out an activity which involves generating and analysing data relating to a particular geomorphic process. Successful examples have included the following: freeze/thaw weathering of building material or different rock types; soil erosion under different stages of a (cress) crop; effect of bridge piers on river channel scour; strength required to move ice over different grades of sediment; modelling action of boulders in basal ice - production of conchoidal fractures in bedrock (Smith, 1984).
- Skills training - principally in managing an investigative project, including designing, conceptualising, implementing and running the experiment, and assessing the shortcomings
- Practical problem-solving
- 'Doing science' in the sense of setting hypotheses and collecting data to test them
- Link to concepts delivered previously in lectures
When students have completed the practical exercise they will be able to:
- conceive, design and implement a research experiment based upon laboratory work
- generate appropriate hypotheses for testing through the experiment
- analyse and critically assess data generated by the experiment in terms of the hypotheses
- better understand the bases and limitations of existing theory in at least one area of geomorphology
- write a well-structured and coherent report of an experiment
- Specific to project, but students encouraged to design and use 'shoestring' apparatus, often simulating more complex equipment described in research publications.
Management of laboratory access:
Student time in the laboratory is managed by the laboratory technician, there is not an access problem
Project write-up is assessed as 33% of the course, the remainder is an examination.
This is one of the case studies which appears in the GDN Guide "Practicals and Laboratory Work in Geography"
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Page created 28 November 1998
Database pages maintained by Phil Gravestock