Floodplain Development

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File Size:
8.17 MB
File Type:
GIS Level:
  • Intermediate
Geographic Scale:
  • Local
Target Audience:
  • Secondary
St Louis MO

This investigation involves using spatial thinking and intermediate to advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills to investigate suburban sprawl in detail, looking at land use decisions made in a rapidly developing suburb west of St. Louis, Missouri. The investigation also helps students to consider the risk / reward tradeoffs made in deciding to build in a desirable location that also happens to be in a floodplain. This investigation introduces several new skills in data management, and makes use of ArcView’s statistics functions as land use designations are compared inside and outside of the 100 year floodplain. An optional performance assessment task challenges students to investigate land use decisions before and after the flood of 1993 to analyze how decisions may change after a major natural disaster.

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