River Transport Key Terms

How a river transports it loads through traction, saltation, suspension and solution.

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 25-03-13 09:13
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  • Transport
    • Traction
      • Large stones/ boulders rolled along the river bed by water moving downsream
      • Happens at times of high discharge (energy levels)
    • Saltation
      • Small stones bounce or leapfrog along the channel bed.
      • Associated with high energy conditions
      • Small particles may be thrust up from the bed of the river, only to fall back down again further downstream.
      • As these particles land they in turn dislodge more particles upwards, causing more such bouncing movements to take place.
    • Suspension
      • Very small particles of sand/silt carried along by the flow of a river.
      • Also picked up through turbulence within water.
      • Largest portion of sediment of the load of the river. Makes a river appear brown.
    • Solution
      • Dissolved materials transported within the mass of the moving water


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