AQA AS Geography Rivers: The Hydrological Cycle

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  • Created on: 22-08-13 19:55
Preview of AQA AS Geography Rivers: The Hydrological Cycle

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The Hydrological Cycle
Water doesn't come into or leave Earth ­ it's continuously cycled between the oceans and
the atmosphere, returning to the ocean when it falls as a form of precipitation.
This is known as the global hydrological cycle.
The global hydrological cycle is a closed system ­ there are no inputs or outputs.
There are also local hydrological cycles ­ drainage basin hydrological cycles.
A drainage basin is the area surrounding the river where the rain falling on the land flows
into that river.
The boundary of a drainage basin is the watershed ­ any precipitation falling beyond the
watershed enters a different basin.
Drainage basins are open systems with inputs and outputs.

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Inputs
Precipitation All the ways moisture leaves the atmosphere
Rain, hail, snow, dew and frost
Solar energy For evaporation
Storage
Interception When some precipitation lands on some
vegetation or other structures, like buildings
and concrete or tarmac surfaces, before it
reaches the soil.
It creates a significant store of water in
woodland areas.
Storage is only temporary because the
collected water evaporates quickly
Vegetation storage Water that has been taken up by plants.
All the water contained in plants at any one
time.…read more

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Flows and processes Water moving from one place to another
Surface runoff / overland flow Water flowing over the land.
Can flow over the whole surface or in little
channels
Throughfall Water dripping from one part of a plant to
another
Stemflow Water running down a plant stem or a tree
trunk
Throughflow Water moving slowly downhill through the
soil.
It is faster when moving through cracks in
the soil or animal burrows
Infiltration Water soaking into the soil.…read more

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Drainage Basins
The drainage basin is an example of an open system, and many of the terms above are
central to it.
Below is a flow diagram of the drainage basin system:
All rivers receive a water supply and the area of land this comes from is known as a drainage
basin.
The boundaries of the basin are known as the watershed and will usually be marked by
areas of higher land.…read more

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