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River Environments
What processes and factors are responsible for distinctive fluvial
landforms?
Slope Processes

Slopes are defined as any part of the solid land surface where there is an incline. Processes
operating on slopes have a major impact on fluvial landscapes. Slope processes transfer
material downslope to the river.

Slow…

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Slides

Sliding material maintains its shape and cohesion until it impacts at the bottom of a slope
and leads to large, slumped terraces.

Falls

Rock falls occur on steep slopes. The initial cause of the fall may be weathering, for example
freeze-thaw.

Slumps

Slumps occur when weaker rocks especially clay,…

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Climate

Rate of weathering varies with climate. Peltier's diagram shows how weathering is related to
moisture availability and average annual temperature. Frost shattering increases as the
number of freeze-thaw cycles increase. Chemical weathering increases with moisture and
heat.



Geology

Rock type influences the rate and type of weathering in many…

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Channel shape

The efficiency of a stream's shape is measured by its hydraulic radius, which is the
cross-sectional area divided by wetted perimeter. The higher the ratio, the more efficient
the stream and the smaller the frictional surface.

Channel roughness

Channel roughness causes friction that slows down the velocity of…

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Erosion

There are a number of types of erosion on a river, these include:

Abrasion
Attrition
Hydraulic action
Solution

There are also a number of factors affecting the rate of erosion, these include:

Load
Velocity
Gradient
Geology
Human impact.

Deposition

Deposition occurs when a river loses energy. This may happen…

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Graded stream profile

Long profile of a river

Cross profile of a river





























Waterfalls and gorges




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Landforms produced by erosion and deposition

























Braided channels, floodplaing
and deltas are also created in a river
through deposition and erosion.
Effects of base level changes on the
formation of features

Negative levels in base level

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Terraces































Knickpoints

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