GEO: Mapwork Steep & Gentle Slopes (lesson 2)


Now that we know what Contour lines are, we need to look inbetween the lines to find more information about the landform we are looking at. 

The features we will be dealing with in this section is Gradient: steep and gentle slopes. 

Unit 2: Steep and Gentle Slopes

Gradient best describes the steepness of the slope we are looking at. 

Steepness tells us about the angle of the slope.

Q: How do we know if the slope is steep or gentle by only looking at the contour lines? 

A: When the contour lines are closer to each other, then slope is called steep slope. When contour lines are further apart from each other, then slope is gentle slope. Slope is where one end of the surface is higher than the another end of that surface. 

It is important for geographers to know the gradient of slope to best determine the height between two areas.

To calculate the gradient we need to know the height difference between two places and the horizontal distance between the same two places.

Refer to the attached PDF to see how to calculate gradient. 


Lesson Questions

1. Write out the following sentences below so that they are correct: 

a) When contour lines are close together the slope is gentle. 

b) When contour lines are far apart, the slope is steep. 

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2. Examine the image given on the attached PDF of Gradient calculations: 

a) Describe the gradient of slope A to B. 

b) Describe the gradient of slop B to C. 

c) Calculate the vertical height difference between B and C. (hint: refer to the contour lines) 

d) Record the horzintal height difference between B and C. 

e) Use the gradient formula found on the attached Gradient calculations PDF to calculate the gradient between B and C. 

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