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Sandurs tend to develop downstream of glaciers, especially as they recede, but the rate of accumulation is poorly defined. This activity was conducted on the Nigardsbreen sandur in the Jostedalen Valley of Norway, where the glacier retreats are well known. Spatially, the lake in which the sandur has formed is bounded by bedrock on the upstream side and the depth to bedrock in lake's midsection is also known. The task then is to survey the surface of the sandur along several transects (each group surveys one transect of their collective choosing) and use these surveys with the bedrock assumptions to estimate the volume stored in the sandur. Since the glacial retreat rate is also known, an average rate of infilling may also be calculated. I instructed the students to make both estimates in the field via simple calculations (e.g. assuming the deposit is triangular). Then I sent them searching for likely sediment sources (dirty glacier, paraglacial landsliding, etc) that may have built the sandur. They use this field assay to generate hypotheses about how and on what time scale (e.g. episodically v. gradually) the sandur formed. In essence, they learn to think like geomorphologists. Designed for a geomorphology course Integrates geomorphology into a core course in geology Addresses student fear of quantitative aspect and/or inadequate quantitative skills
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