Infiltration and Runoff Investigation
Brooklyn Theater Arts High School
Subject: Earth Science
Grade Level: 10th
Unit: Landscapes, Weathering and Erosion
Vocabulary: infiltration, runoff, slope, permeable, saturation
Materials: per pair: student worksheet, aluminum pan, sponges (2), paper towel, cardboard backing, plastic wrap, water bottle
Background: Landscapes are shaped and formed by the movement of water on at and below the surface. Depending on the conditions of the
1. Think back to a rainstorm within the city. Does more runoff or infiltration occur? Explain why.
2. Think back to a rainstorm within the park. Does more runoff or infiltration occur? Explain why.
3. After heavy rains, why does flooding occur in some rural (country) areas?
4. Do you think adding plants to an area would increase or decrease runoff? Why or why not?
5. Think back to the subway picture. How could city planners prevent this from happening?
Students are tasked with creating a landscape that has prevents a town (model placed inside the tray) from flooding. A variety of materials should be provided, and students should be able to justify their choices in materials. Students should test their model to see if they successfully designed a landscape that prevents flooding.
Earth has continuously been recycling water since the outgassing of water early
in its history. This constant recirculation of water at and near Earth's surface
is described by the hydrologic (water) cycle (most of standard addressed in
Meteorology unit) .