CHAPTER 12 notes - Plumbing the Colorado River o o o...

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CHAPTER 12 Plumbing the Colorado River o The 2,330 km Colorado River begins in the rocky mountains and trickles into the Gulf of California o Massive dams and irrigation provide water, flood control, recreation, and hydroelectric power o Colorado river compact of 1922 allots water to 7 states California has exceeded its allotted share Other states are growing and need more water Recent negotiations over future use became frantic during a multi year drought o The other states are allowing Las Vegas to drill for underground water, even though it threatens the area’s ecology and people Freshwater systems o Water may seem abundant, but drinkable water is rare o Freshwater= water with few dissolved salts Only 2.5% of earth’s water is fresh Most freshwater is tied up in glaciers, ice caps, underground Rivers shape the landscape o Tributary= a smaller river slowing into a larger one o Watershed= area of land drained by a river and its tributaries o Floodplain= fertile areas that a river floods periodically o Riparian= riverside areas that are productive and species-rich o Water of rivers and streams hosts diverse ecological communities Lakes and ponds o Lakes and ponds= bodies of open, standing water o Littoral zone= region ringing the edge of a water body nutrient rich, rooted aquatic plants, invertebrates
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o Benthic zone= extends along the entire bottom of the water body o Limnetic zone= open portions of the lake or pond where the sunlight penetrates the shallow waters o Profundal zone= water that sunlight does not reach Supports fewer animals because there is less oxygen Oligotrophic lakes and ponds: have low nutrient and high oxygen conditions Eutrophic lakes and ponds: have high nutrient and low oxygen conditions Marshes, swamps, and bogs o Wetlands= systems that combine elements of freshwater and dry land o Freshwater marshes= shallow water allows plants to grow above the water’s surface o Swamps= shallow water that occurs in forested areas o Bogs= ponds covered in thick floating mats of vegetation o Wetlands are extremely valuable for wildlife o They slow runoff, reduce flooding, recharge aquifers, filter pollutants o People have drained wetlands, mostly for agriculture Southern Canada and the U.S have lost more than half of their wetlands Groundwater plays a key role o Groundwater= any precipitation that does not evaporate, flow into waterways, or get taken up by organisms Aquifers= porous sponge-like formations of rock, sand, or gravel that hold groundwater Zone of aeration= pore spaces are partially filled with water Zone of saturation= spaces are completely filled with water Water table= boundary between the 2 zones The Ogallala aquifer o The world’s largest known aquifer
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o Underlies the Great Plains of the U.S o Its water has allowed farmers to create the most bountiful grain producing region in the world o **over pumping has reduced the aquifers volume by 10%
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CHAPTER 12 notes - Plumbing the Colorado River o o o...

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