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Ross Munro

Geography Fieldwork
River Mole

The Bradshaw model is the theory that stream channel characteristics can change as the river proceeds through its long profile, with the left side of the model representing the source and the right side the mouth. This is seen in Figure 1.0, which shows the Bradshaw Model, and how different factors are expected to change the further downstream you go, for example, Load quantity is expected to increase massively the further you move down through the rivers courses, et cetera. We set about to conduct fieldwork, with the objective of proving whether the Bradshaw model provides true statements as to what happens to a river as it moves through the courses. We did this by splitting up the Bradshaw Model into 4 separate hypotheses. These were; Sediment Size Channel Width Channel Depth Average Velocity of the water

Figure 1.0, the Bradshaw Model

Channel Width In order to measure the channel width, we used two ranging poles placed on the edge of the wetted perimeter on each bank of the river, and used a tape measure in order to gain accurate measurements. We started by gathering data in the upper course of the river at Charlwood, middle course at Westhumble in Dorking and the lower course at Hampton Court, initially using systematic sampling in order to find the sites in which to conduct research, then stratified sampling was used to find which micro site was going to be used at each of the three of the rivers courses. Seeing as the results we obtained fairly similar to each other, and had an extremely low standard deviation, the method in which we conducted our research can be classed as reliable. Overall our results showed that the further you go downstream, the greater the width of the river increases, therefore proving the Bradshaw Model to be correct.

Channel Depth Channel depth was a simple measurement, found only by placing a ranging pole somewhere in the centre of the channel, and recording how much of the pole was completely submerged with water. Problems with this method however, could include the fact that there is a possibility that one side of the river could be slightly deeper than the area measured, as high currents (for example on the inside of a meander) could wear away at the river bed through erosion.

Ross Munro Overall however the way in which we carried out our data collection for depth could not particularly be improved, unless we had the correct equipment in order to find what areas of the river were deeper than others. According to the Bradshaw Model, the Channel depth expected to increase moving downstream from the source, this showed in our investigation, as it was a lot deeper in the middle and the lower courses than it was in the upper course, therefore again proving for the Bradshaw Model to be correct.

Sediment Size In order to obtain results for sediment size, we had to conduct the investigation using the method of random sampling, by reaching into the river and picking up random samples, which were then recorded for size by either measuring the diameter of the sediment, or by seeing how much water was displaced when the sample was dropped in a bucket. This method of data collection again could be improved if we would have used more suitable equipment in order to get a fully accurate result, however the results we obtained did show that the sediment size decreased downstream, this again proving the Bradshaw model to be correct.

Average Velocity To measure the average velocity, we had to use stratified sampling at each micro site in order to aquire the data, then take the mean of the results to give us an average.