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 (http://mass1.er.usgs.gov/rt-cgi/gen_tbl_pg?page=1).
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.