Spokane Falls Erosion Earth Cache
Spokane as a community works hard to reduce the effects of erosion from Spokane Falls. Erosion near a river can have a compounded effect, as it can cause a buildup in sediment. This buildup in sediment can cause the level of the river to rise, causing a change in the flood plains of the river. Sediment in a developed area also usually includes pollutants, either toxins or debris from cities, which have negative effects on the wildlife and water supply.
Spokane works hard to reduce the negative effects of the water erosion in the Spokane River. The building of dams for hydro power slows the river and capture the debris it washes down. This same debris also has potential to get caught in the dams. Each year, hundreds of volunteers get together to remove this debris from the water. In 2015 alone, 600 volunteers removed over 4 tons of debris from the stretch of river between High Bridge Park and the U-District.
As a river flows and erodes its natural environment, several landforms are made, and washed away. For this Earthcache, we will review two of the landforms geologists recognize:
Knick points: A knick point is a break in the slope of a river. These tend to occur when the river picks up speed, such as at a waterfall or rapids. Knick points naturally create faster water, which increases the water’s erosive power. The erosion in Knick points is considered vertical.
Incised Meanders: This one may be easier to visualize or break down by word. Incised, or cut, and meander, or a winding, wandering course. These are marked by a river which cuts itself a great channel (think the Grand Canyon or the canyon below Palouse Falls). The erosion caused by an Incised Meander is generally considered lateral.
*Spokane River Cleanup
Please send earth cache answers to CacheDFish. All answers can be found at ground zero or on this cache page.
1. Determine the flow rate of the river at the time of your visit, "Feet Per Second" for the river (Distance divided by Time) by watching any objects floating in the river.
2. Do you think you’re standing in a Knick point or an incised meander? Why?
3. Is the erosion vertical or lateral? Explain.
* Not required, but always fun, post a picture of yourself and friends with the falls.
* If you are participating in the GeoTour - At the posted coordinates, find the name of the Christian Pioneer educated in Winnipeg, Canada and write it on your passport. You still have to answer the other questions in order to log the cache.
The 2017 Spokane Geocache Tour brings you Sustainability of Spokane. This Geocache Tour will send geocachers on a trip through the Spokane region, finding caches in areas where Spokane residents utilize natural resources and give back to the environment. You will visit locations featuring water conservation, farming, waste treatment, forestry, and of course dam, solar and wind energy.
- All caches begin with the series name SOS: followed by a location specific name so they are easy to search. We also made a SOS Bookmark of the caches.
- Be sure to visit SpokaneGeoTour.com for more infomation on current tours and a map view of all caches in this series.
The Sustainability of Spokane Geocache Tour is sponsored by Cache Advance, and by donation from local cachers. We hope you enjoy the tour!