Monday, 28 September 2015

Weathering around Brambletye

Year 8 have been looking at weathering around the school grounds. 

We found excellent examples of ...

Biological Weathering 

And Chemical Weathering 

weathering happens in situ (no movement); 
erosion involves an agent  coming along and taking some of the rock away.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Another brilliant Hans Rosling lecture

I stumbled over this on iPlayer last night. Hans looks at whether the UN target of eradicating extreme poverty in the very near future. He explains the strengths and weaknesses of the statistics behind the target using his usual brilliant animated graphics and props. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Y8 Geography Fieldwork

Today Year 8 went to Juniper Hall a Field Studies Council centre in Box Hill Surrey to carry out their fieldwork for CE and Scholarship.

We arrived, armed with wellies ...

We learned about the location of the river and how it fitted into the Wey Drainage Basin and also into the Drainage Basin of the River Thames.

We collected some equipment ...

 We then went off on a quest in search of a river that needed measuring ...

 ... and we found one ... the River Tillingbourne. We measured the width, average depth, wetted perimeter, velocity and gradient of the river at three locations.

Site 1: Crossways Farm
We measured float velocity much to the bemusement of the local equine population.

We measured the velocity with a hydro-prop flowmeter, which involved having to look up numbers in a table just like in the days before electric gizmos.

Site 2: Abinger Hammer (Great place name)

Site 3: Shere

Watch out for the crayfish!

We then returned to the centre to crunch the numbers and prepare for our write up day tomorrow back at school.

A huge thank you to the staff of Juniper Hall for looking after us ... we had a great day and learned a lot!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Evapotranspiration in action

This morning we could see water lifting up from the trees ... But is it evaporating or transpirating from the trees?
Both, but as we cannot easily distinguish between the two processes and say how much of each is happening, we use a geography word, evapotranspiration to explain what is going on!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Chile Quake: 8.3 magnitude

At 19:54 last night (local time) a huge earthquake struck off the coast of Santiago, the Chilean capital. The initial quake was 8.3 on the Richter Scale (Google Earth file showing intensity map). The focus was10km deep, which is quite close to the surface. 
This diagram shows the intensity of the quake at various locations in Chile.

Tsunami Warning

The huge quake produced waves of up to 4.5m along the coast. Over 1 million people were evacuated to high land.  This is an amazing number of people and shows how much better informed the population are in coastal earthquake zones and how much better governments are at communicating warnings. A simple blanket SMS message can get information to millions of people almost instantly and when people know what is happening and what they are supposed to do: this reduces panic and minimises the loss of life.
The port of Valparaiso, people moved to high ground to avoid a potential tsunami

Tsunamis can travel great distances and so much of the Pacific rim has been put on high alert in case a tsunami should come to shore. The map below shows how long the waves would take to cross the ocean.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Nepalese Adventure

For the first of our series of Saturday Talks, OB Charlie Allman-Brown came to tell us about his Nepalese Adventure.

After leaving the army, he took time out to walk the length of Nepal. 

He showed us the people he met ...

... The food that he ate ...
... And he told us about the leeches that ate him!

He showed us some amazing views ...

... And told us some scary stories about jungles, avalanches, altitude sickness and strange food!

Charlie after the first few weeks in the snow at altitude ..

The children listened in rapt silence, fascinated by Charlie's 84-day adventure. 

They had some quite interesting questions too ...

A huge thank you Charlie from Brambletye.


Prime Meridian 'is in the wrong place'!

I read this story when I was on holiday and thought that it would be a good starting point for the new year; something along the lines of 'do not believe anything that you are told ... always ask questions!'.

The Prime Meridian line in Greenwich Park
My parents do not live far from Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park which has always been the famous home of accurate time-keeping and the centre point for most world maps. Brambletye, itself lies not far from the Prime Meridian, which passes through the nearby town of east Grinstead.

Before the days of satellites and atomic clocks, being a few hundredths of second or a few metres out did not really matter ... but it is over 30m out! Why? Think plate tectonics ...

Royal Museums Greenwich - web page
Tech Times - article
BBC News - with video clip