Unit G1 - Fieldwork Exercise

The Alderbrook River


 Question 3(c) of the G1 exam paper will assess your knowledge of how to complete a piece of geographical fieldwork.  You will conduct fieldwork on the Alderbrook River.


Key  Questions (Aims)

1.      Does the width of the River Alderbrook change downstream?

2.      Does the depth of the River Alderbrook change downstream?

3.      Does the velocity change downstream?

4.      How do these factors influence the discharge of the river?


In groups of three you will collect data at 4-6 sites along the Alderbrook River (upstream of the managed section, the managed section and the confluence with the River Blythe).  The data that you collect will then be shared within your class to give you a data set showing downstream changes in the river.


The fieldwork that you carry out must allow you to answer questions on the following topics (see Route to Enquiry).


1.      Planning – What are you hoping to find out? What is the overall aim of your investigation?  What key questions need to be addressed to answer your aim?  What data do you need to collect?  Why are these aims interesting?

2.      Data collection – How and why did you collect the primary and secondary data that you used to complete your investigation?  Why is it important to collect accurate and reliable data?

3.      Sampling – What type of sampling will give the most reliable results?  How do you avoid bias when collecting data?

4.      Results – Which graphical techniques are the most appropriate to represent your data?  Why did you use them? What do they show?

5.      Analysis – What statistical techniques did you use to analyse your data? Why did you use them?  What is meant by the results of these tests? (Mean, median, mode, Spearman’s Rank Correlation). What is the discharge? (use the Hydro-Prop Calibration Graph)

6.      Conclusions – What does your data tell you?  Does the river fit an accepted model (Bradshaw Model)?  Have you answered your initial questions?  Are your results reliable and realistic?

7.      Evaluation – How reliable are your conclusions?  What changes would you make if you were to repeat the investigation?  What additional research could be done to improve your investigation?  What further questions need to be addressed to extend the investigation?