Anchorage Office Participates in Nuiqsut Science Fair

November 05, 2014

The Anchorage hydrology crew showcased aspects of the work the Company performs on Alaska’s Colville River near the Alpine oil field development at the Nuiqsut Science Fair, sponsored by ConocoPhillips Alaska (CPAI). 

The event took place on November 5, 2014. The delta of the Colville River is one of the largest drainage basins in North America. Hydrology of the river is typified by extremely high flows with rafts of massive ice during spring break-up, followed by gradually decreasing flows through freeze-up.

Michael Baker’s Jen Gillenwater used a small flume filled with sand of various grain sizes to demonstrate the effects of moving water on different grain sizes of sand and rocks, and explained how water moving down a channel relates to scour, bank erosion, and stream morphology. Water was pumped through the flume to show how the shape of a river responds to the composition and erodibility of the bed and banks. The children got to get their hands dirty and wet rearranging the sands in the simulated stream. She handed out polar bears and graphics of the hydrologic cycle and river processes.