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Earth Science
Earth Science
Reading Topographic
Reading Topographic
Maps
Maps
Definition of Topographic Maps
1. A graphical representation of the
three dimensional shape of the
earth’s surface that shows:
a) elevation
b) shape
Features of Topographic Maps
(not on notes page…)
TOPOGRAPHY (RELIEF):
- printed in brown
- contour lines shows hills, mountains, plains, etc.
WATER FEATURES:
- printed in blue
- includes oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, etc.
CULTURE:
- printed in black
- human-make works such as roads,
railroads, buildings, land boundaries, etc.
Features of Topographic Maps
Relationship between 3D and 2D representation
3D view
2D view
Key Terms:
Topography: general shape of the Earth.
Elevation: distance above sea level.
Contours: lines of equal value.
Contour line: is an imaginary line on the
surface of the earth connecting points of
equal elevation.
Contour lines
Relationship between topographic features and contour lines
Contour interval (C.I.) is the difference in elevation between any two
adjacent contour lines.
x
Relief: the difference between the highest and lowest elevation in a
particular area.
ADD to your notes page:
Contour index- extra dark line with numbers.
If we put contour lines on the island every
10 meters, it would look like this…
Now, let’s determine the elevation at
several points of the island…
0 – sea level
10 meters ~15 meters
+20 meters, but < 30
~8 meters
General Features of Contour Lines
Topographic Maps can show:
ELEVATION:
1.Contour lines connect
points of equal elevation.
Topographic Maps
can:
Show if the land is
STEEP or GENTLE:
2. Steep slopes are
shown by closely
spaced contour lines.
3. Gentle slopes are
shown by widely
spaced contour lines.
Contour lines do not
intersect, branch or
cross.
Topographic maps
can:
Identifying RIVERS
and STREAMS and
their FLOW:
4. When contour lines
cross streams they bend
upstream; that is, the
contour line forms a 'V'
with the apex at the
intersection with the
stream, and pointing in
an upstream direction.
Topographic maps show:
If there is a HILL or
DEPRESSION:
5. Closed contours
appearing on the map as
ellipses or circles represent
hills.
6. Closed contours with
hatchures, short lines
pointing toward the center
of the closure represent
closed depressions.
TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS: DEFINITIONS
Freebies:
#3 – gradient
#4D – profile
Bottom of page #7 – solid, intermitted
For numbers 1 – 4 (a – d)
Choose from these
words:
Contour line
Depressions
Elevation
Index
Interval
Topographic map
For numbers 1 - 8 at
the bottom, choose
from these words:
Gentle hill
hill
lowest
never
sea level
Steep hill
upstream
Answers:
1. Topographic map
2. elevation
3. Gradient
4. Contour line
a) Interval
b) Index
c) Depression
d) profile
1. Never
2. Hill
3. Steep
4. Gentle
5. Upstream
6. Sea level
7. Solid, intermitted
8. lowest
Write down:
Rules to determine the contour
interval (with multiple lines):
 Find the difference between the two
INDEX contours (a).
 Count contour lines between the
contour indexes, then add one (b).
 NOW DIVIDE (a/b)
A.
Contour
Interval?
B.
C.
D.
E.
The difference in
elevation between
the two index
contours (800 - 700)
is 100. We cross
five lines as we go
from the 700 line to
the 800 line (NOTE:
We count the lines
between the index
contours, then ADD
one. In this case,
we have 4 lines + 1
= 5). Therefore is
we divide the
elevation difference
(100) by the number
of lines (5) we will
get the contour
interval. In this
case it is 20.
720 m
740 m
760 m
780 m
2. Determining a value of a depression…
 Determine the outer ring’s value.
 Outer ring is = to the lowest valued contour
line.
 In a depression – elevation DECREASES as
you go towards the center.
1. Determining a value of a hill…
 Determine the outer ring’s value.
 Outer ring is = nearest lowest valued contour
line PLUS contour interval.
 In a hill– elevation increases as you go
towards the center.
p
Row 1
10
30
10
30
20
0
Row 2
20
180
200
1400
5
+25
Row 3
100
1400
5
35
200
4400
Row 4
1
7
200
2400
100
400
Topographic Profiles
DEFINITIONS
- A topographic profile is a diagram that shows the
change in elevation of the land surface along any
given line (an area “looked from the side”).
- Gradient - The steepness of a slope as measured in
degrees, percentage, or as a distance ratio (rise/run).
- Change in elevation between 2 points/length of
measured 2 points. When dividing, make sure the
units are the SAME!!!
Vertical exaggeration (VE)
Topographic profiles are usually constructed with some amount of vertical
exaggeration (VE) to emphasize the details of topography.
The VE is determined by the following steps:
1 . Determine the number of feet represented by one inch on the vertical
axis of the topographic profile. In Figure 7-7C one inch represents 100 ft
or 1:1200.
2. The horizontal scale of the profile is the same as the map, 1:24,000.
3. The VE is calculated by dividing the horizontal scale by the vertical
scale.
VE = horizontal (map) scale/vertical scale
VE = 24,000/1200
VE = 20x
The VE of 20 indicates that the topography illustrated in Figure 7-7C is
exaggerated by 20 times that of the original map.
How to Make a Topographic Profile
This represents a very simple topographic map of a hill. The hill is steep on the left side (the
contour lines are very close together) and has a gentle slope on the right side. The numbers
represent the elevation of the contour lines. (*)
100
200
300
400
What would the hill look like if you were to slice it from left to right? (*)
100
200
300
400
500 feet
400 feet
300 feet
200 feet
100 feet
Normally, the Earth’s surface is not this blocky. In a topographic profile a line is drawn from these
points (red dots) producing a smooth transition. (*)
Thus you have a topographic profile. This is what the hill would look like if you were to cut it
along the profile line and look at it from the side. (*)
Topographic Profile
Topographic Profile
Constructing a Topographic Profile
A B
6400
The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet.
8000
7000
7600
7400
7200
7800
6800
6600
A B
6400
The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet.
8000
7000
7600
7400
7200
7800
6800
6600
In this region the profile
line cut across the 7800
foot line 4 times. (*)
The last step is to simply connect the “dots”. (*)
The profile is finished. (*)
A B
6400
The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet.
8000
7000
7600
7400
7200
7800
6800
6600
This is a very classic example of a butte with steep sides and a very flat top. The profile that you
see here is an exaggerated scale – the vertical scale is greater than the horizontal scale. The next
example is where the vertical scale is closer to the horizontal scale. (*)
THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
This view of the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim looking north into Bright Angel Canyon.
This is what it looks like on a topographic map. (*)
THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
This view of the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim looking north into Bright Angel Canyon.
This is what it looks like on a topographic map. (*)
It may not be as majestic but it is
full of information. (*)
Let’s take a look at this area from a topographic point of view. (*)
Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland
This area is in the deeply eroded
folds of the Appalachian Mtns.
What type of drainage pattern is
shown in this area? (*)
This a very good example of a TRELLIS PATTERN. The tributaries come in from the hills
and meet the main channel at almost 90o
. (*)
The tributaries are shown in blue and the main channel is shown in violet. What stage in
the cycle of stream erosion do these streams display? (*)
Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland
Just for fun, let’s construct a topographic profile across
the main stream from point A to point B. (*)
A
A
B
B
Try to visualize what this
profile would look like
before you move on. (*)
Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland
A
A B
B
Using every INDEX CONTOUR – 100 foot interval … (*)
1100
1000
900
800
700
600 Stream
Now just connect the dots and draw a smooth profile. The stream occupies the lowest
point of the valley. (*)

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topographicmapsnotes-130930200052-phpapp01.pdf

  • 1. Earth Science Earth Science Reading Topographic Reading Topographic Maps Maps
  • 2. Definition of Topographic Maps 1. A graphical representation of the three dimensional shape of the earth’s surface that shows: a) elevation b) shape
  • 3.
  • 4. Features of Topographic Maps (not on notes page…) TOPOGRAPHY (RELIEF): - printed in brown - contour lines shows hills, mountains, plains, etc. WATER FEATURES: - printed in blue - includes oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, etc. CULTURE: - printed in black - human-make works such as roads, railroads, buildings, land boundaries, etc.
  • 5. Features of Topographic Maps Relationship between 3D and 2D representation 3D view 2D view
  • 6. Key Terms: Topography: general shape of the Earth. Elevation: distance above sea level. Contours: lines of equal value. Contour line: is an imaginary line on the surface of the earth connecting points of equal elevation.
  • 7. Contour lines Relationship between topographic features and contour lines
  • 8. Contour interval (C.I.) is the difference in elevation between any two adjacent contour lines. x Relief: the difference between the highest and lowest elevation in a particular area.
  • 9. ADD to your notes page: Contour index- extra dark line with numbers.
  • 10.
  • 11. If we put contour lines on the island every 10 meters, it would look like this…
  • 12. Now, let’s determine the elevation at several points of the island… 0 – sea level 10 meters ~15 meters +20 meters, but < 30 ~8 meters
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. General Features of Contour Lines Topographic Maps can show: ELEVATION: 1.Contour lines connect points of equal elevation.
  • 17. Topographic Maps can: Show if the land is STEEP or GENTLE: 2. Steep slopes are shown by closely spaced contour lines. 3. Gentle slopes are shown by widely spaced contour lines. Contour lines do not intersect, branch or cross.
  • 18. Topographic maps can: Identifying RIVERS and STREAMS and their FLOW: 4. When contour lines cross streams they bend upstream; that is, the contour line forms a 'V' with the apex at the intersection with the stream, and pointing in an upstream direction.
  • 19. Topographic maps show: If there is a HILL or DEPRESSION: 5. Closed contours appearing on the map as ellipses or circles represent hills. 6. Closed contours with hatchures, short lines pointing toward the center of the closure represent closed depressions.
  • 20. TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS: DEFINITIONS Freebies: #3 – gradient #4D – profile Bottom of page #7 – solid, intermitted For numbers 1 – 4 (a – d) Choose from these words: Contour line Depressions Elevation Index Interval Topographic map For numbers 1 - 8 at the bottom, choose from these words: Gentle hill hill lowest never sea level Steep hill upstream
  • 21. Answers: 1. Topographic map 2. elevation 3. Gradient 4. Contour line a) Interval b) Index c) Depression d) profile 1. Never 2. Hill 3. Steep 4. Gentle 5. Upstream 6. Sea level 7. Solid, intermitted 8. lowest
  • 22. Write down: Rules to determine the contour interval (with multiple lines):  Find the difference between the two INDEX contours (a).  Count contour lines between the contour indexes, then add one (b).  NOW DIVIDE (a/b)
  • 23. A. Contour Interval? B. C. D. E. The difference in elevation between the two index contours (800 - 700) is 100. We cross five lines as we go from the 700 line to the 800 line (NOTE: We count the lines between the index contours, then ADD one. In this case, we have 4 lines + 1 = 5). Therefore is we divide the elevation difference (100) by the number of lines (5) we will get the contour interval. In this case it is 20. 720 m 740 m 760 m 780 m
  • 24. 2. Determining a value of a depression…  Determine the outer ring’s value.  Outer ring is = to the lowest valued contour line.  In a depression – elevation DECREASES as you go towards the center. 1. Determining a value of a hill…  Determine the outer ring’s value.  Outer ring is = nearest lowest valued contour line PLUS contour interval.  In a hill– elevation increases as you go towards the center.
  • 25.
  • 30. Topographic Profiles DEFINITIONS - A topographic profile is a diagram that shows the change in elevation of the land surface along any given line (an area “looked from the side”). - Gradient - The steepness of a slope as measured in degrees, percentage, or as a distance ratio (rise/run). - Change in elevation between 2 points/length of measured 2 points. When dividing, make sure the units are the SAME!!!
  • 31.
  • 32. Vertical exaggeration (VE) Topographic profiles are usually constructed with some amount of vertical exaggeration (VE) to emphasize the details of topography. The VE is determined by the following steps: 1 . Determine the number of feet represented by one inch on the vertical axis of the topographic profile. In Figure 7-7C one inch represents 100 ft or 1:1200. 2. The horizontal scale of the profile is the same as the map, 1:24,000. 3. The VE is calculated by dividing the horizontal scale by the vertical scale. VE = horizontal (map) scale/vertical scale VE = 24,000/1200 VE = 20x The VE of 20 indicates that the topography illustrated in Figure 7-7C is exaggerated by 20 times that of the original map.
  • 33. How to Make a Topographic Profile This represents a very simple topographic map of a hill. The hill is steep on the left side (the contour lines are very close together) and has a gentle slope on the right side. The numbers represent the elevation of the contour lines. (*) 100 200 300 400 What would the hill look like if you were to slice it from left to right? (*)
  • 34. 100 200 300 400 500 feet 400 feet 300 feet 200 feet 100 feet Normally, the Earth’s surface is not this blocky. In a topographic profile a line is drawn from these points (red dots) producing a smooth transition. (*) Thus you have a topographic profile. This is what the hill would look like if you were to cut it along the profile line and look at it from the side. (*)
  • 35.
  • 37. Topographic Profile Constructing a Topographic Profile
  • 38. A B 6400 The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet. 8000 7000 7600 7400 7200 7800 6800 6600
  • 39. A B 6400 The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet. 8000 7000 7600 7400 7200 7800 6800 6600 In this region the profile line cut across the 7800 foot line 4 times. (*) The last step is to simply connect the “dots”. (*) The profile is finished. (*)
  • 40. A B 6400 The contour interval of this map is 40 feet. Every index contour would then be 200 feet. 8000 7000 7600 7400 7200 7800 6800 6600 This is a very classic example of a butte with steep sides and a very flat top. The profile that you see here is an exaggerated scale – the vertical scale is greater than the horizontal scale. The next example is where the vertical scale is closer to the horizontal scale. (*)
  • 41. THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA This view of the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim looking north into Bright Angel Canyon. This is what it looks like on a topographic map. (*)
  • 42. THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA This view of the Grand Canyon is from the South Rim looking north into Bright Angel Canyon. This is what it looks like on a topographic map. (*) It may not be as majestic but it is full of information. (*)
  • 43. Let’s take a look at this area from a topographic point of view. (*)
  • 44. Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland This area is in the deeply eroded folds of the Appalachian Mtns. What type of drainage pattern is shown in this area? (*) This a very good example of a TRELLIS PATTERN. The tributaries come in from the hills and meet the main channel at almost 90o . (*) The tributaries are shown in blue and the main channel is shown in violet. What stage in the cycle of stream erosion do these streams display? (*)
  • 45. Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland Just for fun, let’s construct a topographic profile across the main stream from point A to point B. (*) A A B B Try to visualize what this profile would look like before you move on. (*)
  • 46. Cumberland, Pennsylvania/Maryland A A B B Using every INDEX CONTOUR – 100 foot interval … (*) 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 Stream Now just connect the dots and draw a smooth profile. The stream occupies the lowest point of the valley. (*)