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Watershed Unit Final Exam Study Guide Cheat Sheet by

This is a study guide for an honors Capstone watershed unit exam.

First Order Streams

Definition
A headwater stream with no tribut­aries leading to it
Charac­ter­istics:
Small Insects
No fish

Ground­water

Precip­itation that runs off the ground
stored beneath the earth┬┤s surface
22% of all freshwater is ground­water
victim to contam­inants like septic waste, fertil­izers, chemical spills, mining, etc.

Velocity

The Distance water flows during some period of time such as meters per second.
A decrease in slope leads to an average increase in stream velocity
most fish species are unaffected by velocity

pH

Defini­tion:
Concen­tration of hydrogen ions in solution
Usage
helps determine stream health
Scale:
0-14.
0 is very acidic, 14 is very basic
7.0 is ideal for water

Organic Matter

Defini­tion:
Any substrate that is made of living things or the remains of living things
Examples:
plankton, algae, wood, decaying organisms, leaves
 

Second Order Streams

Defini­tion:
Two first order streams joined together
Charac­ter­istics:
Plants
Game Fish

Defi­nit­ions

Headwaters
Where a stream or river begins
Mouth
Where a stream or river ends by flowing into a larger body of water
Watershed
a region drained by or one that contri­butes water to a stream, lake, or other body of water
Substrate
The material that organisms live in or around

Algae

autotr­ophs: Plant-like protists that make their own food
form the base of most aquatic food chains
freshwater algae use energy from the sun and dissolved nutrients to make food

Dissolved Oxygen

Defini­tion:
Oxygen dissolved in water
Effects
organisms rely on oxygen for life
Affected By:
higher temper­ature= lower Dissolved oxygen

Diss­olved Solids

Examples
Magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium
effects
Excessive nutrients cause algal blooms which deplete oxygen and create dead zones
 

Third Order Streams

Defini­tion:
The point where two second­-order streams meet
Charac­ter­istics:
Algae
Fish
Other Aquatic Organisms

Stream load

Bed Load
Suspended Load
Dissolved Load
sediment too heavy to be carried in suspension
sediment carried within the body of flowing water
dissolved minerals that enter the stream from (gener­ally) ground­water
sand, pebbles, boulders
fine sediment; silt and clay
magnesium, aliminum
 
measured by turbidity
measured by conduc­tivity

Turbidity

Defini­tion:
the amount of suspended matter in the water
Factors that affect turbidity
increase in erosion
heavy rains/snow
Warmer Temper­atu­re=­higher turbidity
 

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