Problem: You are a member of a geological team in Central Africa. Your team comes upon a wide river that is flowing east. You must determine the width of the river and the current speed (the speed of the water relative to the earth). You have a small boat with an outboard motor. By measuring the time it takes to cross a pond where the water isn’t flowing, you have calibrated the throttle settings to the speed of the boat in still water. You set the throttle so that the speed of the boat relative to the river is a constant 6.00 m/s. Traveling due north across the river, you reach the opposite bank in 20.1 s. For the return trip, you change the throttle setting so that the speed of the boat relative to the water is 8.20 m/s . You travel due south from one bank to the other and cross the river in 11.2 s.How wide is the river?What is the current speed?With the throttle set so that the speed of the boat relative to the water is 6.00 m/s, what is the shortest time in which you could cross the river?Where on the far bank would you land?

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Problem Details

You are a member of a geological team in Central Africa. Your team comes upon a wide river that is flowing east. You must determine the width of the river and the current speed (the speed of the water relative to the earth). You have a small boat with an outboard motor. By measuring the time it takes to cross a pond where the water isn’t flowing, you have calibrated the throttle settings to the speed of the boat in still water. You set the throttle so that the speed of the boat relative to the river is a constant 6.00 m/s. Traveling due north across the river, you reach the opposite bank in 20.1 s. For the return trip, you change the throttle setting so that the speed of the boat relative to the water is 8.20 m/s . You travel due south from one bank to the other and cross the river in 11.2 s.

How wide is the river?

What is the current speed?

With the throttle set so that the speed of the boat relative to the water is 6.00 m/s, what is the shortest time in which you could cross the river?

Where on the far bank would you land?

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Relative Velocity in 2D concept. You can view video lessons to learn Relative Velocity in 2D. Or if you need more Relative Velocity in 2D practice, you can also practice Relative Velocity in 2D practice problems.