River Discharge

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  • Created by: Ali Bland
  • Created on: 18-03-15 14:59
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  • River Discharge
    • This is the volume of the water passing beneath you is the river's discharge
    • Values for river discharge are expressed in cumecs (cublc metres per second)
    • Discharge = cross sectional area x velocity
  • What Factors Affect River Discharge?
    • Distance Downstream
      • In humid environments such as the UK river discharge increases downstream
        • This is due to additional tributaries joining the main river
    • Climatic Characterisics
      • When snowfall melts, there is a surge in discharge
      • Temperature is an important factor affecting evaporation and vegetation growth
    • Land Use
      • Tree planting tends to reduce discharge
      • Urbanisation often increases the discharge because water is transferred over impermeable surfaces
    • Water Abstraction (removal)
      • The removal of water for domestic use and the irrigation of crops reduces discharge
    • Rock And Soil Type
      • Permeable rocks ad soils absorb water easily, so surface run-off is rare
      • Impermeable rock and soils don't absorb water
  • The Storm Hydrograph
    • This is a graph that shows the discharge of a river following a storm event
    • Rivers respond very differently to individual storm events
    • Each river tends to have its own unique response pattern


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