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Water Erosion

Chapter 8 Section 2
Runoff and Erosion
• Moving water is the major
agent of the erosion that has
shaped Earth’s land surface
• Runoff is all the remaining
water that moves over Earth’s
• When runoff flows in a thin
layer over the land, it may
cause a type of erosion called
sheet erosion
Runoff and Erosion
Rills and Gullies
 Streams and Rivers

• Runoff and the • Gullies join
material it together to form
contains move larger channels
downhill called streams
• As it moves, it • A stream is a
forms tiny channel along
grooves in the which water is
soil called rills continually
• As the rills flow flowing down a
together, they slope
form gullies • As streams flow
• A gully is a large together, they
groove, or form larger
channel, in the bodies of water
soil that carries • A large stream is a
Amount of Runoff
Amount of runoff in an area

depends on:
• The amount of rain an area
• Vegetation that reduce runoff by
absorbing water and holding soil
in place
• The type of soil and how they
absorb water
• The shape of the land and how it
is sloped
What factors affect the
amount of runoff in a
• The amount of rain
• The vegetation
• Type of soil
• How people use the land
• Shape of the land
River Systems
• A stream grows into a larger
stream or river by receiving
water from tributaries
• Tributary – a stream that flows
into a larger stream
• Drainage basin- the land area
from which a river and its
tributaries collect their water
• Divide- the high ground
between two drainage basins
• Continental Divide

Erosion by Rivers
• Through erosion, a river creates V-
shaped valleys, waterfalls, flood
plains, meanders, and oxbow lakes
• Rivers often form on steep mountain
• Waterfalls may occur where a river
meets an area of rock that is very hard
• Flood plain- the flat, wide area of land
along a river, often covered when a
river overflows its banks
• Meander- a looplike bend in the course
of a river
• As the river widens from side to side, it
tends to erode the outerbank and
deposit sediment on the inner bank of
a bend
River Formation
Deposits by Rivers
• Deposition • Where a stream
creates flows out of a
landforms such steep, narrow
as alluvial fans mountain
and deltas. valley, the
• It can also add stream
soil to a river’s becomes wider
flood plain and shallower
• Alluvial fan- a
wide, sloping
deposit of
 Soil on Flood Plains

• As a river slows • Deposition occurs
and begins to during flood
deposit • Deposition of new
sediment, it soil over a flood
forms a delta plain is what
• Delta- Sediment makes a river
deposited where valley fertile
a river flows into
an ocean or lake

• Mississippi River
Groundwater Erosion and
• Groundwater- water that fills the
openings in the soil and trickles into
the cracks and spaces in layers of rock
• Groundwater can cause erosion through
chemical weathering
• Groundwater combines with CO2 to form
carbonic acid which hollows out
pockets in limestone and develops
large underground caverns or caves
• Stalactite- a deposit that hangs like an
icicle from the roof of a cave
• Stalagmite- slow dripping builds up on a
cone-shaped deposit on the cave floor
• Karst topography- the collapsing of the
roof of a cave due to erosion forming a
sink hole
• What is the major cause of erosion on Earth’s
 Moving water
• Describe the five features formed by rivers
and streams as they erode the land.
 Valleys, waterfalls, flood plains, meanders,
and oxbow lakes
• What are the results of deposition along the
course of a stream or river?
 Deposition results in the creation of
alluvial fans and deltas, as well as new soil
over flood plains
• How can groundwater contribute to erosion?
 Groundwater can cause erosion through
chemical weathering as acid in the water
breaks down limestone, which is carries away
by the water in solution
• How is an alluvial fan similar to a delta? How
is it different?