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Stream Table

A stream table may be used to simulate river and watershed systems.

• Stream table
• Water bottle
• Bag of sand
• Clay to plug hole
• Bucket for waste water and sand

1. Plug hole in stream table with clay
2. Put sand in stream table
3. Carefully wet sand

Affect of gradient on stream flow
1. Pile sand at one end so that you make a steep gradient.
2. Slowly pour water onto sand until it runs down slope.
3. Watch the pattern and flow.
4. Change the gradient and repeat.
5. What can you discern about the influence of gradient.

Erosion and Deposition
1. Create a steep gradient.
2. Slowly pour water onto sand until it runs down slope.
3. Create a ‘youthful’ channel shape.
4. Continue with the water so that you create a ‘lake’ in the stream table and can watch deposition.
5. Create a flatter gradient.
6. As you slowly pour the water in create a meander path with your finger.
7. Watch the differential erosion around the meanders.

Printed with permission from Michal L. Le Vasseur, 2001

Adobe PDF download Stream Table (Adobe PDF document)


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