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Homework answers / question archive / Wilfrid Laurier University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies   Geography 101 Section A Take Home Final Examination Fall 2020 There are three sections to the examination

Wilfrid Laurier University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies   Geography 101 Section A Take Home Final Examination Fall 2020 There are three sections to the examination


Wilfrid Laurier University

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies


Geography 101 Section A Take Home Final Examination Fall 2020

There are three sections to the examination. Section One has multiple choice questions, Section Two is short answer questions, and Section Three has a series of lab and applied questions. The responses to Section One will be submitted through a Quiz in MyLS. The responses to Sections Two and Three will be submitted in a document. That document will be submitted into a dropbox in MyLS called 'Take Home Final Exam'.

When preparing your responses to Sections Two and Three follow the guidelines set out below:

  1. Type your answers into a document with each response clearly numbered using the questions as they are numbered in this exam question paper.
  2. There are some questions that ask you to show your work such as calculations, if you prefer to show your calculations by hand, prepare those calculations on a clean sheet of paper and then scan or photograph that sheet, import or paste the image(s) into your document.
  3. You may incorporate sketches or other illustrative materials in your answers to some of the questions in Sections Two and Three.
  4. Save your document as a pdf file. The document that you submit to the dropbox must be a pdf file.
  5. Name your document as follows:

Surname_First_Name_Final_Examination_GG101A.pdf for example:


  1. Your final examination should be complete and submitted by 11:59:59 pm on December 20 ,  2020.

Section One Multiple Choice Questions (25  marks )

All questions in Section One are multiple choice. There is one correct response per question. Determine your answer to each question that is posed below. When you have your final answers, go to MyLS Quizzes, locate the Final Exam MC Quiz, start the quiz and enter your answer for each multiple choice question. Submit the Quiz.

Q1.      In a stream channel, the fine grained sediments such as clay are normally transported:

      1. by rolling or sliding on the bed
      2. in suspension
      3. in traction
      4. in solution

Q2.      In a stream channel, abrasion refers to:

      1. the entrainment of sediment by high velocity and turbulent flows
      2. materials that bounce along the channel bed in arcuate pathways
      3. the detachment of sediment from the channel banks caused by the impacts of objects carried in the flow
      4. the incision of a river into its valley bottom due to tectonic uplift

Q3.      A stream experiences a change in its discharge, the initial value is low and then the discharge increases significantly. Which one of the following would likely occur as the discharge increases to a very high value?

      1. sediment would be deposited as the velocity decreases with the higher flow volume
      2. the sediment load would decrease as the discharge increases
      3. the transport of sediment along the bed would decrease
      4. the stream velocity and the entrainment of sediment would increase

Q4.      In lecture we reviewed some of the changes that occurred in the Don River in the City of Toronto over the last 200 years. In the lower portion of the Don River the channel has been significantly altered. Which one of the following is a major change that occurred in the lower portion of the Don River in the latter part of the 19th century?

      1. The channel was changed from a meandering pattern into a straight pattern
      2. A major wetland was created where the Don River flows into Lake Ontario
      3. The Don River channel developed a broad floodplain and the river migrated across that floodplain creating a series of terraces
      4. Areas on the floodplain that had been developed for industry were removed and the Don River was restored to its natural state

Q5.      Which one of the following statements is false?

      1. Suspended sediments are only transported along the stream bed.
      2. A load is calculated as the product of a sediment concentration and discharge.
      3. Load is the amount of material a stream moves over some time interval.
      4. The dissolved load is the amount of material a stream moves in solution.

Q6.      In a meandering stream, the deeper water sections of the channel that are located opposite the point bars are called:

      1. scars
      2. riffles
      3. pools
      4. side bars

Q7.      If a stream has just the gradient and discharge to transport its sediment load, it is said to be:

      1. "fit"
      2. competent
      3. in a non-equilibrium state
      4. graded

Q8.      Which one of the following is a physical weathering process?

      1. unloading (pressure-release)
      2. solution
      3. hydrolysis
      4. carbonation

Q9.      In general terms, the rates of chemical weathering processes are highest:

      1. under moist conditions at low temperature
      2. under moist conditions at high temperature
      3. under dry conditions at high temperature
      4. under dry conditions at low temperature

Q10.    Freeze-thaw cycles can cause physical weathering due to:

      1. water combining with mineral compounds to form new minerals
      2. water being added to mineral compounds leading to swelling and stress in rock
      3. the physical expansion that occurs when water freezes to ice
      4. the hydraulic action of water between rocks

Q11.    A mass movement is more likely if earth surface materials are weakened and experience a reduction in strength. Consider a steep slope that is comprised of fine textured materials such as silt and clay mixed with some sandy sediments. What one of the following processes would result in a loss of strength in that material.

      1. the gradual removal of moisture (soil moisture and groundwater) from the sediment
      2. a reduction in the angle of the slope due to material (sediment) being deposited at the base of the slope
      3. an increase in the vegetation cover on the slope
      4. a gradual increase in the moisture content of the sediment due to an increase in the elevation of the water table

Q12.    Which one of the following is an example of a rapidly moving mixture of sediment and water?

      1. rockfall or topple
      2. rock slide
      3. mudflow or debris flow
      4. soil creep

Q13.    A forward rotation of slabs of bedrock failing along vertical fractures is called: a) a slide

      1. a flow
      2. heave
      3. a topple

Q14.    The slow downslope movement of surficial materials caused in part by alternating cycles of expansion and contraction is called:

      1. soil creep
      2. a mudflow
      3. a slide
      4. a slump

Q15.    In which one of the following latitudinal belts or regions is the average annual receipt of incoming shortwave radiation the highest?

      1. polar regions
      2. mid-latitudes
      3. tropics
      4. sub-polar regions

Q16.    In mountainous areas mass movements along roadways are common. When road beds are constructed in rugged terrain a cut anf fill technique is often used, whereby the hillslope is cut into (the 'cut') and the debris is used to construct a portion of the roadbed (the 'fill'). Why does this technique make mass movements along that corridor more likely?

      1. The 'cut' steepens the slope above the road and a mass movement is more likely on a steeper slope.
      2. The 'cut' exposes unweathered materials above the road which have less strength than weathered materials.
      3. The 'cut' exposes the underlying materials above the road to chemical weathering processes which disaggregate, break apart and fracture that material.
      4. The materials above the road cut are weakened by a reduction in their moisture content due to improvements in the drainage.

Q17.    Longwave radiation arriving at the surface of the Earth (L9):

      1. comes primarily from infrared radiation emitted by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
      2. comes directly from the sun
      3. comes from diffuse solar radiation
      4. comes from UV radiation reflected from the bottoms of clouds

Q18.    Which one of the following statements is true?

      1. A volume of water can store less heat than a similar volume of rock.
      2. The temperature of water body will rise faster than that of land when exposed to the same amount of solar radiation.
      3. Energy within a water body can be redistributed by the process of convection.
      4. Land and water have very similar thermal properties.

Q19.    Which one of the following regarding low pressure areas (cyclones) is true?

      1. Air flows into (converges) and ascends (rises) within a low pressure system.
      2. Air flows out of (diverges) and descends within a low pressure system.
      3. They are associated with clear skies and low humidity.
      4. The circulation of air around cyclones is the same in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Q20.    Which one of the following describes the Coriolis force?

      1. It drives air from areas of higher to lower barometric pressure.
      2. It decreases with height above the surface.
      3. It causes the deflection of winds from a straight path.
      4. It is the only force acting on flows of air in the upper troposphere.

Q21.    Which one of the following materials would have the highest wilting point?

      1. clay
      2. silt
      3. sand
      4. gravel

Q22.    Consider a parcel of air that has fixed water vapour content. The temperature of the parcel of air is increased without the addition or loss of any water vapour. What occurs to the relative humidity of the air as it is warmed?

      1. there will be no change in the relative humidity
      2. the relative humidity will increase
      3. the relative humidity will decrease
      4. the relative humidity could either rise or fall as it is not influenced by temperature

Q23.    Which one of the following air masses tends to bring very warm humid air to southern Ontario in the summer months?

      1. cA
      2. mT
      3. cT
      4. mP

Q24.    The equatorial belt receives very high amounts of precipitation largely because:

      1. continental air masses dominate the area
      2. air pressures tend to be low
      3. air pressures tend to be high
      4. there are very low amounts of incoming solar radiation

Q25.    A well drilled into which one of the following would yield economic quantities of fresh groundwater?

      1. an aquiclude
      2. an aquifer
      3. an aquitard
      4. an aquizone

GG101 Final Take Home Examination

Section Two:  Short Answer Questions (15  marks )

Respond to Three (3) of the following five questions, present your responses in your answer document.

    1. Consider the global distribution of net radiation (see Figure 2.10 Geosystems, below).

Define net radiation, describe the global distribution of net radiation, and describe the variables that control the distribution of net radiation.

Figure 2.10 (Geosystems).    Daily net radiation patterns at the top of the atmosphere.  Units are in W/m2. 

    1. Describe the evidence that demonstrates that global average surface temperatures have increased in recent decades. Given the observed historical record, and the most probable projected changes, approximately how much warmer will the global surface be at the end of the 21st century, relative to the end of the 20th century? How will that warming be geographically distributed?
    2. Consider a stream system in the mid latitudes. There is a rain event onto the watershed area that is drained by that stream system. There are multiple routes that water can take to enter the stream network. Identify, describe, and contrast these key hydrological pathways. 
    3. Compare and contrast meandering and braided streams. Specifically comment on: (i) the channel shape, (ii) the channel pattern, (iii) the types of sediments that are associated with each, including the sediment load, (iv) the channel gradients, (v) the flow characteristics, and (vi) the typical environments in which we find each of these stream types.
    4. The diagram below shows the distribution of precipitation across much of North America. There is a wet belt that extends along the coast of Alaska, southward through the coastal regions of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon (enclosed by the red ellipse). In contrast, the interiors of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon receive much less precipitation. Figure 8.7 in the text (Geosystems) shows annual precipitation for British Columbia in more detail.

Describe why the interior of British Columbia is so dry relative to the coastal region of British Columbia. In your answer you should consider all of the variables that control or influence regional climate with a focus on precipitation.


GG101 Final Take Home Examination

Section Three: Lab and Applied Questions (30  marks )

Answer all of the following questions, present your responses in your answer document.

Topographic Map, Imagery, Fluvial Geomorphology Questions

On the following page, there is a portion of the Glenboro, Manitoba NTS map sheet. In this document, the map is presented as a geopdf file. Use the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC program to view this document, just as was done during Lab 1. In the Adobe program the Measurement Tool may be used to measure the distance between two points (as was done in Lab 1). If the file is in a geopdf format when the measurement tool is used, the distance that is given is the ground distance. If the file is not a geopdf, the distance that is given is a map distance. On the map there are a series of markers shown as red circles with an uppercase letter labelling each of them. You will be measuring a ground distance between two of these markers. To ensure that you can measure a line on an angle between two points, go to Edit, Preferences, under Measuring (2D), make sure that “Use Orthogonal Lines” is turned off (no checkmark in the box).

For reference, a copy of the full 1:50,000 scale Glenboro, Manitoba map sheet as a pdf file is in the Final Exam folder. That full map sheet can be opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, be aware that it is not a geopdf file. Information on the contour interval and the symbols that are used on the map are available on the full map sheet in the Lab 8 folder.

3.1 Using the map on the following page, determine the elevations in metres at Location A and

Location B, and the elevation difference between them.            (1.5  marks )

Write your responses as:

Elevation at Location A is:

Elevation at Location B is:

Elevation Difference between A and B is:

3.2 Using the map on the following page, measure the ground distance between Location A and

Location B in metres.       (1  mark )

Write your response as:

Ground Distance from A to B is:

The map below shows a portion of the Glenboro, Manitoba NTS map sheet.









3.3 Calculate the elevation gradient between Location A and Location B in m/km. Show your work, with all your calculation steps and your final answer clearly stated.           (1.5  marks )

3.4 The map distance between Location C and Location D is 5.0 cm. Using the map in this document, measure the ground distance between those two locations and calculate the scale of this map. Show all your work, and clearly state your final answer.            (2  marks )

3.5 Locate the red markers on the map that are labelled as E and F. The red markers are superimposed on features on the map. Determine what feature is shown at each marker. You may use any resources to make this determination, including the legend on the full Glenboro, Manitoba map sheet (in Lab 8 folder) and Google Earth Pro. For each location identify the

feature and provide a description of the feature.              (2 marks)

Begin your responses as:

Location E is:             

Location F is:

3.6 In the Final Examination folder in MyLS there is a kmz file called Glenboro.kmz. Download that file. Start Google Earth Pro and open the file Glenboro.kmz. In that file there are three markers called Feature 1, Feature 2, and Feature 3. Navigate to each one of these locations. The markers show a combination of physical (Features 1, 2) and cultural features (Feature 3). Examine the imagery from a variety of perspectives. All of the features are located within boundaries of the Glenboro map sheet. You may use the Glenboro map sheet and the other layers from the lab on the Assiniboine River to help you identify and describe the features.

For each location, identify the feature (physical landform or cultural feature) briefly describe

it and how you made that determination. (6  marks )

Begin each response as:

Feature 1 is:  

Feature 2 is: Feature 3 is:

3.7 In the Glenboro.kmz file there are two markers called North Bank 2011 and North Bank 2017. Navigate to those markers. Using the historic imagery tool there are four images that can be viewed, they are dated: (i) April 27, 2011, (ii) July 11, 2011, (iii) August 24, 2013, and (iv) June 26, 2017. Use the time slider in Google Earth Pro to examine what occurred in this portion of the Assiniboine River over the period 2011 to 2017.

  1. Describe the sequence of events that took place in this areas from 2011 to 2017, focus on the geomorphic changes to the river channel over that period. Be specific about the

changes, illustrate your answer if needed.     (3  marks )

  1. The marker North Bank 2011 shows the position of the stream bank on July 11 ,  2011.

The marker North Bank 2017 shows the position of the stream bank in the same area on June 26, 2017. Measure the total amount of bank migration (erosion) that occurred over that interval in metres, and also express that in m/year. Comment on the magnitude and

significance of that value.      (3  marks )

Humidity, Temperature, Air Mass Questions

    1. In the table below, there are a series of observations taken over the course of a day in the late spring season, from a location in southern Ontario. Data are presented on air temperature, relative humidity, and wind direction. The entries under saturation vapour pressure, dew point temperature, and actual vapour pressure are blank.

Solve for the values that are blank in the table. Enter the correct answers into the table and show one full set of calculations (e.g. calculations from one row).

You will need to use the relative humidity equation and the relation between saturation vapour pressure and temperature (see the equations and the graph in Figure 1, below). Recall that at the dew point temperature RH = 100%. Start by using air temperature and the graph (Figure 1) to determine the saturation vapour pressure. Then, using the relative humidity and the saturation vapour pressure, calculate actual vapour pressure. Then, using the actual vapour pressure and the graph (Figure 1), determine the dew point temperature.         (5  marks )



Temperature (oC)




(es in mb)

Dew Point


(Td in oC)




(ea in mb)






6 am







10 am







2 pm







6 pm







10 pm











    1. From the table above, describe the relation between air temperature and relative humidity over the course of the day. Do these temperature and relative humidity data show the typical

daily pattern?  (2  marks )

    1. Examine the data in your completed table. This location was under the influence of two different air masses over the course of the day. Examine the temperature and humidity data, including the dew point temperatures and actual vapour pressure values that you have calculated. Also examine the wind direction data.

Consider the following questions:

Is there a marked change in the weather conditions as reflected in the temperature, humidity, and wind direction data during the day?

When did a major change occur?

What type of air masses are likely involved in this change?

Describes the changes that occurred in the weather variables, when the major change happened, and the likely air masses that were involved. Be specific with regard to the air masses. You should consider the typical air masses that influence southern Ontario and

contrast their temperature and humidity characteristics.      (3  marks )

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