Planet Earth: Water and Watersheds



Look at the copy of the topographic map labeled “Parts of the Mount Toby and Shutesbury Quadrangles, Massachusetts.”


        a. Where does the water in the Mill River, the site of this morning’s stream discharge measurements, come from?



        b. The bold curved line with hachures marks the boundary of the Mill River watershed or catchment.


        1. How is the location of this boundary determined?


        2. How can you measure the area of this watershed?



Log onto the “Planet Earth” website and go to the “Masachusetts/Rhode Island Current Strem Flow” link ( For a stream monitoring site in the Connecticut River region:


        a. What is the discharge of the river? How does it compare to the Mill River?



        b. Click on the link for “Historical Daily Mean or Peak Flow Data for this Station.”    Record the watershed area and find a map of the region around the monitoring site.




        c. How does the average daily streamflow for the last 7 days compare to annual average stream flow for those dates?



        d. What was the average daily streamflow for the same period in 1997?



        e. If this watershed received 1” of rain, and it all passed the monitoring point in 24 hours, what would be the total volume of water and the average streamflow for that day (assuming that all water runs off to the stream)?


        f. Do the same calculation for the Mill River watershed.