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Published by: xeonzwong on Sep 10, 2012
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Chapter 5 - Rivers

Source: The start of the river, normally found in mountainous areas. Mouth: The end of the river, this is normally where a river enters the sea, but it can be where it enters a lake. Tributary: A small river that flows into a bigger river Confluence: Where two rivers join/meet. Estuary: The section of the river near the mouth that is tidal. Drainage basin (catchment area): The area of land that drains into one river and its tributaries. A drainage basin is known as an open system because water can be added and lost. Watershed: The dividing line between two drainage basins.

Bed: the bottom of the river channel. Bank: The sides of the river channel. A river has two banks. Wetted perimiter: The length of the bed and the banks in contact with the river.

Rivers Channel: The route course (between bed and banks) that a river flows. 4. 2. Solution: The processed of dissolved pieces of material being transported in a solution. 2. This normally happens with suspended load. The thalweg is always near the middle of the river channel. Attrition: Load crashing into each other in a river. Corrasion (abrasion): The process of a rivers' load crashing and rubbing into a rivers' banks and bed causing pieces to break off. 3. Corrosion (solution): The process of water dissolving a rivers' load as well as its bed and banks. Suspension: The process of smaller pieces of load being carried in a rivers flow. where there is least friction. 4. 5. Traction: The process of large pieces of load rolling along a river bed. Hydraulic action: Water and air getting into cracks in a rivers banks and bed causing erosion through increased pressure.Chapter 5 . 3. Flotation: When material is transported on the surface of the river. Erosion 1. . Thalweg: The fastest part of the river. Saltation: The process of load bouncing a long a river bed. The flow of the river is often described as channel flow. Transportation 1.

 Transfers: When water is moving within a system. as shown in the Bradshaw model to the right. Outputs: When water leaves (exits) a system. Discharge: Is the amount of water being carried by a river. rain or snow. Because a river's depth can vary we normally take several depth readings and calculate an average. The gradient of the river will normally get less step as it travels from the source to the mouth. Evaporation: Liquid water from surface stores and rivers turning into water vapour (gas). A river's crosssection will get bigger as it moves from the source to the mouth.g. Gradient: Gradient means how steep something is. Velocity is normally measured in m/s (metres a second). the earth into the ground beneath. It is commonly believed that the velocity of rivers is faster in the upper course. This because the cross-section of the river is smaller near the source so there is greater friction and also the discharge is smaller. We measure velocity with the formula: speed = distance/time. Inputs: When water is added to a system. Interception: When an object  (building. this is not true. Transpiration: Liquid water evaporating from vegetation.Chapter 5 . oceans and atmosphere. Stores: When water is stationary within a system. Cross-section: The cross-section of the river is the width of the river times the depth of the river.Rivers Velocity: Is the measure of the speed and direction of an object (to be very simple .the speed the river is travelling). or lost from it. A drainage basin is known as open system because water can be added in the form of precipitation and lost in the form of evaporation and transpiration Closed System: This is a system where water can not be added or lost. The Hydrological Cycle (also known as the water cycle): This is the continuous movement of water through the land. Nearer the mouth the discharge of the river increases as does the rivers cross-section meaning less energy is lost to friction. Open System: This is a system where water can be added or lost.  Surface run-off (overland  flow):When water travels across the surface of the . tree) stops precipitation reaching the ground beneath. The hydrological cycle is known as a closed system because it includes all the water on our planet and no water can be added to it. Precipitation: Any  Infiltration: When water  moisture that falls from travels from the surface of the sky e. However. the velocity of the river actually increases as you near the mouth. Discharge is measured as cubic metres per second (CUMECS). The hydrological cycle is known as closed system because water cannot be added or lost. We calculate discharge by using the formula discharge = cross-section x velocity. Surface storage: Any water that is held on the surface of the earth e.g. lake or pond.

They can also cause pollution through oil spills and the noise of propellers can disturb marine life.  Soil-moisture storage: Water streams. Transport: Transport like ferries obviously need ports to be built which can change infiltration rates and surface run-off.      Human Impacts on the Hydrological Cycle 1. 7. Chemicals and metals that are spilt or dumped into rivers can damage ecosystems and make water harmful for humans to drink.  Stem flow: When that is stored below the surface intercepted water then in unsaturated ground.  travels down the branches Groundwater storage: Water and trunks of vegetation. the amount of interception increases. 3. this means there is less infiltration and more surface run-off. However. buildings can also intercept precipitation and humans can build artificial drains which can reduce flooding by redirecting water away from vulnerable areas. Deforestation: When humans cut down trees. When humans plant trees. 6. . Irrigation is used when there is insufficient precipitation and the ground is too arid to grow crops. toilets. 4. washing machines and dishwashers. Reforestation and afforestation: This is basically the opposite of deforestation. swimming pools. industry is a big user of water therefore reducing the amount of water in rivers and under the ground. Deforestation tends to increase the risk of flooding because water reaches the ground and rivers quicker. Fertilisers can cause algae to grow in lakes and rivers which can damage ecosystems. Agriculture can therefore reduce the amount of water in rivers and under the ground (groundwater storage . Industry: Like agriculture. Because they can regulate the amount of water released they also reduce the risk of flooding. that is stored in saturated Percolation: When water ground. Agriculture can also pollute water through its use of fertilisers and pesticides and through animal waste run-off. Throughflow: The movement of water through unsaturated ground. Irrigation: Irrigation is the watering of the ground. They can also reduce the velocity and discharge of rivers by regulating the amount of water released. River discharge: Eventually most rivers enter the sea and discharge the river's flow into the sea.Chapter 5 . Canopy drip: Intercepted water dripping off vegetation onto the ground. Dams: Dams create artificial surface stores (reservoirs). gardens. there is less interception and therefore less canopy drip and stem flow. they use large amounts of water to irrigate crops. 2. This means that more precipitation falls directly onto the surface increasing the number of temporary surface stores and surface run-off. Planting trees can reduce flooding because precipitation reaches the ground and rivers over a longer period giving the ground time to absorb excess water. Groundwater flow: The movement of water through saturated ground.Rivers  earth Some surface stores like Channel flow: Water that is puddles may only be travelling in rivers or temporary. impermeable surfaces are created. Agriculture: Agriculture is the biggest user of water. 8. Industry can also be a big polluter as well. Urbanisation and construction: When houses and roads are built. These two terms are sometimes collectively known as evapotranspiration. Also urban areas (towns and cities) use large amounts of water in showers. 5. This means that water reaches the ground more slowly because stem flow and canopy drip slow the movement of water downwards. causing the ground to become saturated and rivers to flood. travels from unsaturated ground into saturated ground.aquifers).

Chapter 5 .Rivers River Landforms Upper Course      Waterfalls Rapids Gorges V-shaped valleys Interlocking spurs EROSIONAL LANDFORMS       Waterfalls Gorges Rapids Potholes V-shaped valleys Interlocking spurs        Middle Course Lower Course Meanders Oxbow lakes Levees Braided rivers     Deltas Floodplains Meanders Oxbow lakes DEPOSITIONAL EROSIONAL AND DEPOSITIONAL LANDFORMS LANDFORMS Deltas  Levees  Braided Rivers  Meanders Oxbow lakes Floodplains .

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