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IGCSE Geography ­ Fieldwork manual

This document compliments fieldwork resources from other points in the IGCSE course, in
particular work carried out during and as a follow-up to the Lake District fieldtrip (River
Environments, Coastal Environments and Rural Environments & Ecosystems topics), and
also the Birmingham fieldtrip (Urban Environments…

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Approximately one third of the marks in the IGCSE are awarded for demonstrating geographical skills. Some
of these relate to general geographical skills that you will have acquired and practice in routine geography
class work and home work, and some relate to specific fieldwork skills. The extract from the IGCSE…

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A. Planning Section A (River Environments and Coastal
Locate the study area. Environments) fieldwork questions will ask you about
Decide on one or more aims or hypotheses these early stages of investigation, i.e. planning an
(linked to geographical theory) investigation, aims, organisation and data collection.
Decide on the number and…

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There will be one fieldwork question worth 6 marks in both Rivers and Coasts questions.

River Environments topic
River Environments - Enquiry 1: Measuring channel features.

A. Planning

Choice of study area: e.g. River Glenderaterra, Cumbria (a safe, accessible upland river with several
tributaries. It should have every chance of…

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Water width and depth ­ In addition to the measurement of the `wet' width using a tape measure,
depth measurements were recorded at 10 equal intervals across the channel using a ruler. 10
measurements would give sufficient data to present as cross section diagrams.

Cross-sectional area = width x average…

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Health and safety requirements (e.g. safe access from surrounding land in to channel) dictate the
location of sites, to an extent, which is an inevitable limitation to how representative the data is.

An improvement to this enquiry would be to gain velocity measurements from different points
across the cross-section of…

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At each site, a nitrate reading was taken by carefully dipping a nitrate-nitrogen test strip into the flowing
water near to the middle of the channel (where practically possible), allowing the colour to develop on the
strip and then comparing this to a colour key to give the nitrate reading.…

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Sampling methods ­ the number and type of data: (i) Beach profiles: Using measuring equipment
detailed below, groups were allocated different transects to measure the profile of (measure the length of
separate slope sections, and record the angles of those sections). Groups' transects were spaced equally
5 metres apart (=systematic…

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B. Methods/ data collection - see diagram and information in Appendix

Beach profiles: Starting at the sea wall, groups of approximately 4 people worked together using 2
ranging poles, a clinometer and a tape measure to measure the length and angle of individual `sections' of
slope. One person held a…

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A. Planning

Choice of Study area: e.g. St Bees, Cumbria: an appropriate location as a retreating coastline (up to 2
metres retreat a year) which is presently managed via a combination of different hard and soft engineering

Hypothesis: Local residents believe that the coastline at St Bees should be…




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