Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ocmulgee River Lab

Clam Collection and Elevation Below Riverbank

Our class went to the Ocmulgee River to collect data on the elevation changes in the water under the riverbank as well as collect data on the amount of clams in different areas of the river.

To collect elevation data, we took two poles that were tied together with a string that was 10ft long. When you stretch them across the bank, you take the sting and put it to the bottom of the first pole and make the string level across to the second pole when standing the poles up vertically. The difference in heighth of the two poles is the change in elevation from the first pole to the second. You would just continue this across the river.

To collect data on the amount of clams across the river in different spots, you take a box sifter and a shovel and shovel in a scoop of dirt from the bottom of the river in different spots. You would then sift out the dirt into the water and count the amount of clams you found in that particular area. Another point of interest was whether the clams were alive or dead. You can tell this by seeing whether the clams are open or closed.

We did this data collection and it is posted bellow on the google map of the area and through the graph and table of data.

The path that is outlined is the path taken when doing the elevation below riverbank measurements. The faster flow of water tended to be in areas where the elevations was furthest below the riverbank.

Clam Collection Data
#1-5 Live clams with a slower current.
#2-2 Live clams with a slower current.
#3-2 Live clams with a slower current.
#4-5 Live clams with a medium current.
#5-On sandbar-1st scoop had 2 live clams and 5 dead clams and 2nd scoop lower with 8 dead clams.
#6-On sandbar-9 dead clams
#7-2 Live clams with a deeper elevation and faster current.
#8-No clams-deep elevation and fast current.
#9-No clams-deep elevation and fast current.
#10-Shallow water, riverbank-3 dead clams
#11-Shallow water, riverbank-9 dead clams
#12-Shallow water, riverbank-7 dead clams
#13-Shallow water, riverbank-over 20 dead clams

The clams tended to be living in medium shallow depths of the river and with a slower current. There was not really many clams found in the faster current areas. The shallow areas of land had many clams but they were all dead. The currents usually were faster in the deeper areas of land in the river.

Some possible explanations for these results: Faster currents drag clams down the river so slower current areas are better habitats for them. Also, the shallower areas of land may be an easier access for animals such as birds to pray on the clams thus there being many clams but they are not living.

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