Geol110 Physical Geology Name Topographic Map Homework



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GEOL110 Physical Geology Name________________________

Topographic Map Homework

Due: Oct 21 (Tuesday lab) / Oct 23 (Thursday lab)

Be sure to complete both sides of this page!
Massanutten Mountain

Massanutten is a ski resort and neighborhood near Harrisonburg. Massanutten is also extremely interesting in a geologic sense. The purpose of this exercise is to practice your topographic map skills learned in lab, and to become familiar with the location and topography of this intriguing mountain.




  • Go to Google maps (http://maps.google.com/).

  • Type in Massanutten Peak, VA. This marks the highest point on Massanutten Mountain.

  • Change the tab on the upper right from “Map” to “Terrain” to get shaded relief and topographic lines.

  • You will have to zoom in using the + - scale on the left in order to see the topographic lines.



1. (0.5 points) What is the contour interval on this map? ___________ feet
2. (0.5 points) What is the elevation of Massanutten Peak (highest point on Massanutten Mountain)? ___________ feet
Zoom in as far as possible with the “+” button. Assuming North is “up” on the map, look at the roads just to the NE of Massanutten Peak. You are in the correct place if you can see “The Kettle” and “Stony Run.”
3. (0.5 points) What is the change in elevation on Rainier Rd, from the intersection with Peak Dr to the intersection with Wilson Way?

Change in elevation: _________________feet


4. (0.5 points) What is the change in elevation on Peak Dr, from the intersection with Massanutten Dr until the road comes to a dead end?

Change in elevation: _________________feet



5. (0.5 points) If you were riding your bike, which of these road segments would be the easiest (least steep)? Circle one:
Rainier Rd or Peak Dr


6. (0.5 points) The ski resort is located where the map says “The Kettle.” Use the topography to explain in a couple of sentences why this place called “The Kettle”:
7. (0.5 points) Now zoom out until you can see Harrisonburg and Massanutten Peak. Assuming North is “up” on the map, in which direction would you travel from Harrisonburg in order to get to Massanutten Peak (if you were flying- ignore the roads). Choose one:
North Northeast East Southeast South Southwest West Northwest
8. (1 point) You can get a great view of a large part of Massanutten Mountain from several places on campus, including the large third floor study area of the new East Campus library, and on Cantrell Ave at the top of the hill near the dorms. Look over the Sleep Inn, Outback Steakhouse, and nearby, shorter hills to see Massanutten Mountain. Massanutten Peak has a number of radio and cell towers on it. Obviously, you need to do this when it’s not foggy or raining.
In the space below, sketch the profile of as much of Massanutten Mountain as you can see. Label Massanutten Peak and make some indication of direction on your sketch (for example, in which direction, like NW or SE is the left hand side of your diagram pointing? Which direction is the right hand side?)

9. (0.5 points) Describe the shape of Massanutten Mountain in a couple of sentences. Does this look like a “normal” mountain to you?

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