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River Discharge
River discharge is the volume of water, in cubic metres, that flows in a river per second.

Hydrographs are graphs of river discharge over time.

They show how a drainage basin responds to a period of rainfall.

They are useful in planning for flood situations and times of…

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The Storm Hydrograph is affected by Physical Factors

Drainage basin characteristics

Larger drainage basins Can catch more precipitation so higher peak discharge

Shorter lag times
Smaller drainage basins Precipitation has a shorter distance to travel

Steep-sided basins Shorter lag times
Water flows more quickly downhill
Increases peak discharge

Lots of…

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Vegetation Intercepts precipitation and slows its movement to the
river channel
Increases lag time
Interception is at its highest when there's lots of

The more vegetation there is, the more water is lost
directly from the vegetation before it reaches the
river, reducing peak discharge


Intense storms…

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The Storm Hydrograph is affected by Human Factors

Type of area

Urban Much of the soil is covered with man-made
impermeable materials such as concrete and
Increases surface runoff
Decreases lag time
Increases peak discharge

Most of the land is permeable
Allows infiltration
Increases lag time
Decreases peak…

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