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THE LIFE OF A RIVER

WATERS JOURNEY FROM SOURCE TO MOUTH
~ AN EXPLANATION OF PROCESSES AND FEATURES

What happens when water reaches the ground?
PRECIPITATION

CONDENSATION

LAND
EVAPORATION

SEA

SIMPLIFIED WATER CYCLE

Key Words
EVAPORATION CONDENSATION PRECIPITATION RUN-OFF When water vapour changes to liquid (cooling) Water in any form that falls to earth e.g. rain When the ground water moves through the land When water vapour changes to liquid (warming)

PERCOLATION
GROUND WATER WATER STORES

The water that is stored within the ground
Water that is stored e.g. ground, clouds, air etc. Water that moves directly along the ground without penetrating.

Put the correct definition to the given word ~one has been done for you

Detailed Water Cycle

Completed Water Cycle

River Basins
Key Words
• Where a river begins is called the source. • A small river meeting a larger river is called a tributary. • Where the two rivers join is called the confluence • Where the river flows into the sea is called the mouth. • The area drained by a river is called the drainage basin. • The ‘line’ that separates two drainage basins is called the watershed.

THE LONG PROFILE OF A RIVER
Upper Course SOURCE Middle Course Lower course

MOUTH

Hydraulic Power

Key Words
Water/debris is forced into cracks

Corrasion / Abrasion Corrosion / Solution Attrition
Rocks get smaller by chemical action

Rocks /stones erode bed and sides of river bank. Rocks such as chalk and Limestone

Rocks get smaller when knocked together

The Upper Course of a River
Processes of erosion

• Hydraulic power
The force of water on the bed and banks of the river.. The force of the water removes material from the bed and banks of the river. It is very powerful when flooding

• Corrasion
When the river is full, pebbles and boulders are carried along by the water. These rub against the bed and banks of the river and wear them away. The process is called abrasion.

Processes of Erosion
Corrosion
River water sometimes causes some rock to slowly dissolve. (e.g. limestone dissolves in slightly acid water and is carried away in solution (as a liquid) as calcium hydrogen carbonate).

Attrition
The pebbles and small rocks being carried by the riverthe load- collide and rub against each other, breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces. The rough edges become smooth, forming smaller rounded material. Eventually the particles are reduced to sand and silt-sized particles

Features of the upper course of a river
The main features of a Waterfall are:
•A steep drop in the river ~ called a high head of water

•A plunge pool at the base
•Hard, resistant rock at the top~ the cap rock •Softer rock below that are undercut. Waterfalls and gorges are formed over a long period of time they are characterised by the following: •Bands of hard and soft rock being eroded at different rates. (softer rock the quickest) •The river moves back as the erosion takes place, this is known as recession. •A gorge and waterfall have steep sides

Softer less resistant rock is easily eroded by fast flowing water.

Hard cap rock Softer rock is undercut by backwash from falling water (resistant)

Deep plunge pool at base of waterfall

Undercutting has taken place where softer rock is found

Waterfall over 150 metres high

Deep plunge pool at base of waterfall

The middle course of a river
Key words
Traction

-large boulders roll along the river bed
Saltation

-smaller pebbles are bounced along the river bed, picked up and then dropped as the flow of the river changes

Key words continued
Suspension

-the finer sand and silt-sized particles are carried along in the flow, giving the river a brown appearance.

Solution

-minerals, such as limestone and chalk, are dissolved in the water and carried along in the flow, it often cannot be seen.

The middle course of a river
•Meanders
Deposition on inside bend Erosion on outside bend

Feature of the middle course
A Meander (cross-section) A B

A

B

Label the diagram with the following words and statements:-

Outside bend, inside bend, erosion, deposition, river cliff, deepest water and fastest current.

Feature of the middle course
A Meander (cross-section) A B

A

B

Outside bend, inside bend, erosion, deposition, river cliff, deepest water and fastest current.

The lower course of a river
•Ox-bow lakes •Flood plains

River straightens at this point and cuts off the ox-bow

Steep undercut bank

Oxbow or ‘cut-off ’ lake

New course of the river

Part of the flood plain