10 Analyzing Multivariable Change: Optimization

 Project 10.1: Snow Cover Setting Often contour maps of a geographical region are not topographical maps showing land elevation. Contour maps could indicate other features such as depth of the water table, richness of mineral deposits, population density, precipitation levels, or atmospheric conditions. You are probably most familiar with weather maps where contours called isotherms indicate temperature or contours called isobars indicate air pressure. The contour graph36 in Figure 10.34 shows the probability of snow cover in January. 36. W. Rudloff, World Climates (Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1981). FIGURE 10.34 (Click on the map to view it at full size: 1062 x 668 pixels) Tasks Carefully examine the contour graph in Figure 10.34 below. You may wish to make several copies of the graph for use in this project. An enlarged copy may also be helpful. Begin by marking on a copy of the graph all the relative high and low percentages indicated in the graph. Use Hs and Ls to distinguish between high and low percentages. Find a map or atlas of the world that indicates special topographical features. Choose at least five of the relative extreme points in Figure 10.34, and determine the precise topographical characteristic of the planet at each location that results in the corresponding relative extreme point. What would you expect the snow cover probability on Mt. Everest to be in January? Locate Mt. Everest on the contour map. Does the graph indicate the probability you expected? If not, why not? Reporting Prepare a poster to present the contour map in such a way as to highlight the relative extrema and the corresponding topography at each point. Give some information about each point (such as latitude, longitude, elevation, and topography). Include on the poster the location of and information about Mt. Everest. Make the poster attractive and readable from a distance of 3 feet.