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Glossary on Rivers
Abrasion: occurs when larger load carried by the river hits the bed and banks, causing bits to break
Aquifer: an underground reservoir of water stored in pores and/or joints in a rock. E.g. chalk.
Areas of water deficit: locations where the rain fall does not provide enough water on a permanent
basis. Shortages may occur under certain conditions, e.g., long periods without rain.
Areas of water surplus: areas that have more water than needed often such areas receive a high
rainfall total, but have a relatively small population.
Attrition: load carried by the river knocks into other pats of the load, so bits break off and make the
Channel: the part of the river valley occupied by the water itself.
Cross profile: a line that represents what it would be like to walk from one side of a valley, across
the channel and up the other side.
Corrosion: the effect of rocks being flung at the waterfalls by powerful rivers.
Deforestation: the removal of trees and undergrowth
Discharge: the volume of water passing a given point in a river at any moment in time.
Drainage basin: area from which a river gets its water. The boundary is marked by an imaginary line
of highland known as a watershed.
Flood hydrograph: a line graph drawn to show the discharge in a river in the aftermath of a period
of rain, which is shown as a bar graph.
Floodplain: the flat area adjacent to the river channel, especially inn the lower part of the course,
this is created as a natural area for water to spill onto the river reaches the top of its banks.
Floodplain zoning: controlling what is built on the floodplain so that areas that are at risk of flooding
have low-value land uses.
Floods: these occur when a river carries so much water that it cannot be contained by its banks and
so it overflows onto surrounding land its floodplain.
Hydraulic action: the power of the volume of water moving in the river.
Hydraulic power: the sheer power of the waves.
Impermeable: rock that does not allow water to soak into it.
Inputs: anything entering the farm system, e.g. climate, soil, seed, labour.
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Irrigation: artificial watering of the land.
Levees: raised banks along the course of a river in its lower course. They are formed naturally but can
be artificially increased in height.
Load: material of any size carried by the river, from dissolved and small such as clay to very large