Floodplains

It is spring in North America. This means the snow is melting. In many places, the snow never comes. As the snow melts, the creeks and rivers will expand. What does this result in?

Floods!! Yes, that raging river bursting past its banks and causing many problems. However, one cannot talk about floods without talking about floodplains.

What is a floodplain? This is a low lying area along a river. Whenever a river reaches beyond its normal levels, and has a high discharge, that water has to go somewhere. In that case, it is going to expand to some low-lying land known as a floodplain. In a nutshell, it is a plain for flooding.

Animation below shows how a flood plain works.

Stay tuned for more on flood plains.

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Pittsburgh, America’s City Of Bridges.

Pittsburgh, America’s City Of Bridges.

Did you know that there are over 400 bridges in the city of Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania,USA?

If you did not know that before, now you know. 446 bridges in the city of Pittsburgh. This is very fitting for a city located on THREE(3) rivers. Yes, Pittsburgh is located on three rivers. Why else was the sports venue where the Pirates and Steelers shared for 3 decades called Three Rivers Stadium? Those three rivers are: Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio.

Pittsburgh is also a very hilly city. Hills and rivers comprise the geography of this city. Makes sense considering that Pittsburgh is located in the Allegheny Plateau/Allegheny Mountains. Technically it’s within the Appalachian Mountains region.

Hills and rivers. This would make for a very fragmented city, along with the gullies and creeks in the city. Makes for a beautiful city, but a fragmented city nonetheless. It is important for people, ideas, and goods to move through a city. That is how a city works. The movement of ideas, people, goods. How do you get people, ideas, and goods through a city divided by hills and rivers?

BRIDGES!! Yes, this is why Pittsburgh has so many bridges. Movement between communities would be far more difficult without bridges. Short distances separated by gullies, rivers, creeks, or low lying areas can be crossed thanks to bridges. Bridges bring people out of isolation. Think of it from a spatial perspective. Bridging the distance, making communication and travel faster.

Red Cedars: A Biogeography Lesson

Those long evergreen trees standing out from the green and tawny grass in fields. They aren’t as tall as pine trees. However, they have their significance.

Juniperus virginiana, the eastern red cedar. True to its scientific name, the red cedar(also known as the eastern red cedar) is actually a type of juniper. This tree has been used for making pencils because its wood is soft, but strong a durable. However, so many trees were cut down that other species of trees were used.

The eastern red cedars can still be found in the USA today. It is exclusive to the eastern USA and grows in a variety of soils. They are typical found in fields, abandoned land, or limestone hills. When land has been damaged, this is among the first trees to repopulate an area. Pioneer species it is called.

Outcrops. What Are They?

Those rocks that you can see sticking out of the dirt. Those rocky places along river banks. Go to parts of the Atlanta area around the Chattahoochee River, to the Silesian Stones of Poland/Czech Republic, to the Vazquez Rocks near Los Angeles, you can find rock outcrops. And they can be made from different kinds of rocks. Granite, breccia, quartz,etc.

What is an outcrop? In a nutshell, it is exposed bedrock. It can be formed from tectonic processes or erosion processes.

Bedrock is normally below the soil. It normally is not exposed in most scenarios. However, in the case that rapid erosion occurs, rock is exposed. Bedrock can also be thrusted up to the surface of the earth. Tectonic processes. One reason geology rocks.