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Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter: Investigating the Precipitation-Streamflow Relationship
This activity prepares you to launch an investigation of the relationship between precipitation and streamflow for a local watershed. It can enrich a study of the water cycle. Following the step-by-step instructions in a case study you will locate, download, format, and finally graph one year of Web-based data for these two variables. The graph highlights the details of this often complex precipitation-streamflow relationship and provides a context for launching a classroom discussion of the balance between surface runoff and infiltration during and after a rain event, soil porosity, soil saturation level, the influence of impervious surfaces in a basin, the impact of slope, wind and air temperature on watershed hydrology, and the influence of high or low vegetation. You should allow at least four 45-minute class sessions if you are planning to use this resource in a school setting.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
  • Hydrology
Technical requirements:
Excel spreadsheet
Cost / Copyright:
Cost information is not known
Original, creative works created for the Earth Exploration Toolbook website remain the intellectual property of that program and may be used freely for any non-commercial, educational purpose with appropriate attribution.
DLESE Catalog ID: SERC-EET-000-000-000-002
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Physical systems:
      • The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface
    • The world in spatial terms:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information
Related resources:
This resource requires
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Mr Nick Haddad