Sand Creek in May
Go with the Flow
Water is rather odd stuff:
- Water becomes bigger when frozen
- Water's solid form (ice) floats
- Water can change directly from a solid to a gas (sublimation)
- Water is the only natural substance on earth that is found in
all three states (solid, liquid, and gas)
- Water has an unusually high specific heat (it can absorb lots
of heat before it gets hot)
- Water has a very high surface tension (it is magnetically 'sticky'
- Water is odorless, tasteless, and transparent
Because of all these amazing physical properties, water can flow
in rivers, transport nutrients through the smallest passageway in
your body, and seep deep into underground aquifers. Scientists who
study water and how it flows above and below ground are called hydrologists.
Since water is so important to humans and to all life on the planet,
hydrologists measure its characteristics, predict how much of it
there is, and determine where it goeseven when it disappears
In the San Luis Valley there are a variety of aquifersfrom
shallow to very deepbelow the earth's surface. Hydrologists
have discovered that some of the deeper aquifers hold water that
last saw sunlight over 30,000 years ago.
Explore Great Sand Dunes’ web page on hydrology for more on the flowing waters of the dunes.
Be a hydrologist in the activity below and calculate
the flow of Medano Creek.