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Test Your Stream Erosion IQ
Can you identify the landforms that have been formed by the erosion of stream channels?

The Task:
Students examine topographical maps of stream erosion, and identify the type of landforms that would be created by the stream channels shown on the maps.

Materials Needed:


  1. Examine the topographical maps. Observe the erosion pattern of stream channels caused by the processes of flowing water.
  2. Look carefully at the elevation contour lines.
  3. Next, examine the five different landforms on the right. Which landform would have been formed by the erosion pattern shown on the topographical maps?
  4. Click on the landform that you feel is the correct answer and find out if you are right!
  5. If you are able to identify all three landforms correctly, your name can be entered in Gary's List of Landform Experts.

Teacher Background Information:
Topographic maps represent three-dimensional space in two dimensions. Contour lines on a topographic map join points that are the same elevation above a specified reference (sea level, for example). By observing contour lines we can determine the shape of the landform, how steep its sides are, and its elevation. When contour lines are close together, the ground is steep and when they are far apart, the ground is more flat.

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