Applied Fieldwork Enquiry Rivers Table A: fieldwork methodologies Fieldwork locality River/hydrology Use of transects (across a feature) Change over time (comparing primary data with secondary sources) Qualitative surveys (analysing perception) Geographical flows (analysing flows and patterns of movement) Determine patterns of flow and deposition across a river channel Investigate the value of
distinctive river landscapes (i.e. using environmental quality assessment) Infiltration rates in various soils or interception rates in various vegetation types within a catchment area Investigate the river features and processes across a river channel (e.g. a meander) Consider changing river landforms based on comparison of current evidence with historical evidence from maps/photos possibly making use of data collected during previous years Investigate perceptions of flood risk Investigate variations in bedload across a river channel (e.g. compare straight with meander or across a slip-off slope) Investigate changes in the
sinuosity of a river, using maps to compare past and present patterns Discharge rates compared to rainfall or longitudinal survey of downstream changes in a river (with links to velocity) Table B: conceptual frameworks Geographical theme Place Applying understanding of uniqueness / identity River/hydrology Comparing the characteristics of river features in two locations (e.g. straight/ meander) Comparing the human uses of river environments in two locations
Sphere of influence Applying understanding of sphere of influence / catchment and how it impacts on places Cycles and flows Mitigating risk Sustainability Inequality Applying understanding of change and movement in relation to place Applying understanding of hazard perception / risk and analysing management strategies / future actions
Applying understanding of sustainable communities Applying understanding of inequality and associated concepts such as deprivation or equality of access to services Delimiting the sphere of influence of a distinctive river landscape feature and assessing its impact(s) Comparing river flows (velocity) in river channels (cross sections, distance downstream, etc) and assessing the effects (e.g. erosion and deposition)
Identifying flood risk and river management strategies for a named river Evaluating sustainable flood management strategies Assessing inequalities in river processes (e.g. velocity) along a short stretch of river Identifying a river catchment and assessing its impact on potential flood risk. Investigating components of the river basin system (e.g. infiltration) and assessing the impacts on runoff WJEC nominated criteria
Table A: Methodologies Table B: Conceptual framework 2018: Geographical flows 2018: Cycles and flows 2019: Qualitative surveys 2020: Use of transects 2019: Place 2020: Sphere of Influence The six stages of the enquiry process Ask questions Evaluate the process Collect data Process & present data
Draw conclusions Analysis and application of wider understanding Enquiry 1: Ask questions What are the river landforms? What river processes are operating? How is the surrounding land used by people? How do human activities affect the river processes and landforms?
Does the river flood? What are the characteristics of the river meander? Enquiry 2: Collecting data Remember that for one of your two investigations, one of your data collection methods must be that nominated by WJEC from Table A The second investigation must be underpinned by the nominated conceptual framework (Table B) You can use additional methods of data collection as you wish Remember that fieldwork is an excellent way to practice geographical skills
Enquiry 2: River methodologies Use of transects (across a feature) (2020 exam) Determine patterns of flow and deposition across a river channel (measure river cross sections using tape and metre rule; measuring velocity at intervals) Investigate the river features and processes across a river channel (e.g. a meander) (measure and record the features of a meander) Investigate variations in bedload across a river channel (e.g. compare straight with meander or across a slip-off slope) (measure and record pebble characteristics at regular intervals across the river maybe also velocity and depth) Change over time (comparing primary data with secondary sources)
Consider changing river landforms based on comparison of current evidence with historical evidence from maps/photos possibly making use of data collected during previous years (measure and record sketches/ photos current landforms and use secondary data to identify changes over time) Investigate changes in the sinuosity of a river, using maps to compare past and present patterns (draw a sketch map of a river stretch to calculate sinuosity and compare with historic maps) Qualitative surveys (analysing perception) Geographical flows (analysing flows and patterns of movement) (2019 exam) (2018 exam) Investigate the value of distinctive river landscapes (i.e. using environmental quality assessment)
(use a bi-polar EIA, annotated sketches or photos or a questionnaire to assess values and perceptions) Infiltration rates in various soils or interception rates in various vegetation types within a catchment area (measure infiltration rates using , for example a water-filled metal cylinder) Investigate perceptions of flood risk (use a questionnaire/interviews to assess perception) Discharge rates compared to rainfall or longitudinal survey of downstream changes in a river (with links to velocity) (measure velocity and cross sectional area to calculate discharge) Enquiry 2: Afon Leri Consider what methodologies could be used here to collect data
Enquiry 2: Collecting data Design appropriate fieldwork data collecting sheets Select appropriate locations (safety risk assessment - ease of access, geographically sound) Select appropriate sampling techniques (random, systematic, stratified) Ensure accuracy and reliability Remember that students will need to justify methodologies Enquiry 3: Processing and presenting Processing data This involves making calculations from the data sheet and could involve:
Calculating central tendency (mean, mode, median), e.g. pebble sizes, velocity Calculating proportions, e.g. percentages of pebble angularities Calculating areas or flows, e.g. cross sectional area or discharge Enquiry 3: Processing and presenting Presenting data This involves selecting appropriate methods to present data and could include: Cross sections, sections, e.g. e.g. river river channel, channel, river river valley, valley, Cross meander bend bend meander
X2 vertical exaggeration Enquiry 3: Processing and presenting Presenting data This involves selecting appropriate methods to present data and could include: Scatter graphs graphs showing showing Scatter changes changes downstream, e.g. e.g. velocity, velocity, downstream, pebble sizes sizes pebble Histograms, e.g. e.g. pebble pebble size size Histograms, categories categories
Enquiry 3: Processing and presenting Presenting data This involves selecting appropriate methods to present data and could include: Pie charts/radar charts/radar charts/divided charts/divided Pie bars bars Dispersion graph graph Dispersion You could could interpret interpret aa You dispersion graph graph by by marking marking dispersion the median, median, quartiles quartiles and and the
range range Enquiry 4: Analysing and wider understanding Identify, analyse and interpret trends and patterns Apply knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and processes to specific evidence collected Trends changes over time, distance, etc Patterns regular repeating distributions, e.g. linear, radial, circular Enquiry 4: Describing data When describing trends and patterns consider using the acronym GCSE: GC general comment, describing the big picture, the overall trends and patterns S refer to specific information/data on the graphs, maps and diagrams to support your comments E identify and comment on any exceptions (anomalies) to the overall trend/pattern
Enquiry 4: Analysing data The divided bar graphs indicate that pebbles are becoming less angular (more rounded) with distance downstream. The proportion of pebbles in the very rounded, rounded and sub-rounded categories increases from 40% at Site 1 to 75% at Site 5. Site 3 values deviate from the trend with a marginal increase in angularity (the three rounded categories drop from 60% at Site 2 to about 58% at Site 3). This could be the result of student error in data collection or possibly the input of fresh material from the river channel banks or valley sides. The overall trend of decreasing angularity is to be expected according to the Bradshaw Model. Water transport results in attrition chipping off sharp edges and abrasion smoothing the pebbles. This explains the
decrease in angularity with distance downstream. Pebbles becoming more rounded, less angular Enquiry 5: Drawing conclusions This involves synthesising (pulling together) findings to reach evidenced conclusions that relate to the initial aim of the enquiry. Heres an example: In conclusion, my results clearly show that there are changes in the rivers bedload with distance downstream. The average pebble size decreased from 13.3cm at Site 1 to 6.5cm at Site 5 and pebble angularity decreased (sub-angular 45% at Site 1 to 23% at Site 5). This supports the Bradshaw Model and can be explained by the erosive action of water (attrition and abrasion) being increasingly effective as pebbles are transported downstream. Enquiry 5: Drawing conclusions Expected trends and models are not always reflected in the real world, for example:
River flow (velocity) varies enormously most fieldwork is conducted during low flow yet most landforms are formed at high flow. Patterns of velocity are often very different at low flow. Pebbles enter a river along its course, so downstream changes in size and angularity may not be clearly evident Human factors such as farming practices, channel modification and bridge construction can affect patterns of velocity, river channel shapes and bedload Enquiry 5: Drawing conclusions At low flow, patterns of velocity may not be as expected Farm animals flatten river banks to drink from the river Flood management may modify channel shape At low flow riffles have faster flow than pools,
whereas the opposite is true at high flow Enquiry 6: Evaluating the process Identify the limitations of geographical evidence accuracy, reliability and bias Reflect critically on the strengths and limitations of both primary and secondary data, methods used, conclusions drawn and knowledge gained Appreciate that stakeholders may have vested interests, introducing bias. Enquiry 6: Evaluating the process How might your results be different on another day or at a different time (high flow as opposed to low flow)? How might an increase in the sample size or the
number of sites have improved reliability? With practice, might data collection techniques have been more accurate? Was the sampling strategy appropriate? Could inaccurate diagram construction have affected your conclusions?
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