AQA gcse geography water on the land notes

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  • Created on: 10-04-13 13:13
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Drainage basins
Rivers begin in upland areas and flow downhill, becoming
deeper and wider until they reach the sea. A drainage
basin is part of the water cycle where water is transferred
in a continuous cycle between the sea, atmosphere and the
land. As the river flows downstream its characteristics
change through the three main sections of
The Upper Course
The Middle Course
The Lower Course
Source - The beginning of the River
Confluence - Where two rivers meet
Watershed - An area of high land between two drainage basins
Mouth - Where a river flows into a lake or the sea
Tributary - A small river or stream that flows into a larger river
Drainage Basin - The area drained by a river and its tributaries
Drainage basin diagram ­ do you understand all the key terms
Interception: this is where plants, trees, or buildings collect the precipitation.
Infiltration: The downward movement of water that seeps into the soil or a porous rock
Percolation: The movement of water through the soil or underlying porous rock. This water collects
as groundwater.
Transpiration: The water loss from vegetation into the atmosphere.
Soil moisture: water stored in soil and broken rocks near to the surface.
Overland flow: When water flows over the surface of the ground. This occurs for a number of
reasons: the soil may be saturated and therefore be unable to absorb any more water; the
underlying rock may be impermeable or the ground may be frozen.
Throughflow: the movement of water with in the soil sideways, towards the river.
Groundwater flow: see percolation.
Water table: level of saturated ground in the soil.
River processes: Erosion:
Hydraulic action: This is where the force of the water wears away the bed and banks of a river.
Abrasion or corrosion: This is where rocks and pebbles that are carried along by the river the banks
and bed of a rive

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Attrition: The rocks and pebbles that are transported by a river knock together and become smaller,
more rounded and smoother the further down a river you go
Solution or corrosion: The water can dissolve rocks such as limestone and this is transported as a
River Process: Transport
Solution: vminerals are dissolved in the water and carried along in solution.
Suspension: fine light material is carried along in the water.
Saltation: small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.…read more

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Landforms from erosion:
Waterfalls and Gorges
Landforms from erosion and deposition:
Meanders and Ox-bow lakes
These are formed by meanders. Meanders get larger over time with more erosion and deposition
occurring creating an Ox Bow Lake.…read more

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Cross section of a meander
This is the wide valley floor on either side of a river which occasionally gets flooded.
When a river floods onto the flood plain, the water slows down and deposits the eroded
material that it's transporting.…read more

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Factors affecting river discharge:
Amount of rainfall ­ Lots of rain and short heavy periods of rainfall means there's more runoff. Lag
time is decreased, so discharge increases
Temperature ­ on a hot day with dry conditions, or cold freezing days, the ground is very hard. This
increases runoff, lag time is decreased so discharge increases
Trees and vegetation ­ an area surrounded by vegetation will take in the water, or at least block its
path to the river.…read more

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Case Study:
MEDC ­ Boscastle, Cornwall, 2004
Over 60 mm of rainfall (typically a month's rainfall) fell in two hours.
The ground was already saturated due to the previous two weeks of above average rainfall.
The drainage basin has many steep slopes, and has areas of impermeable slate causing rapid surface
Boscastle is at the confluence (where tributaries meet) of three rivers - Valency, Jordan, and
Paradise.…read more

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Insurance often doesn't cover the damages caused by the flood
· Many peoples jobs were based in tourism, which was reduced after the flood
· Mental health from the stress of the flood.
Case Study:
LEDC ­ Bangladesh, 2004
Floods covoured more than half of bangladash
760 killed
8.…read more

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The River Tees (landforms and flood control)
Where is the river Tees?
The River Tees is located in north-east England. Its source area is high in the Pennines in the west and
the river flows eastwards into the North Sea.
Main features of the upper course
The source of the River Tees lies on Cross Fell in the Pennines, 893m above sea level, where rainfall is
over 200mm per year. Run-off is high because of the impermeable rocks and the steep slopes.…read more

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Gabion (baskets filled with stones) to protect the walls and embankments from erosion.
· Fishing platforms, street lighting and replanting to improve the environment
· Building materials approved by English Heritage to be in keeping with the existing
5) Improved flood warning systems-now have better liaison with the Meteorological Office,
police and other emergency services.
6) New development discouraged-as low-lying land is flood-prone
Flood control/management
Hard engineering
Dams are often built along the curse of a river in to control the amount of discharge.…read more

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Power generation: 26 turbines on left and right sides of dam. Six underground turbines planned for
Why built:
Dam generate electricity for central and Eastern China - including Shanghi population 13million
Improve Navigation along the river
Reduce flood risk for 15million people
Dam - 2.3km long and 100m high
Reservoir behind - 660km long and 1km wide
Resettlement of 1.…read more



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