Drainage Basin

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  • Created on: 09-09-16 17:43
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Factors affecting the passage of water through a drainage basin river regimes
1. Altitude ­ the higher the land, the more opportunity of precipitation being stored as snow or
ice. Temperatures are cooler and only in warmer months will the ice or snow be subject to
2. Latitude ­ the sun's rays are less concentrated further away from the Equator, thus reducing
the amount of evaporation and the potential for precipitation to be stored as ice or ice.
3. Temperature ­ the higher the temperature the greater the amount of evaporation; this will
reduce the amount of water in the river catchment area and the water that reaches the river
channel. Seasonal variation in temperature will have a dramatic impact on the regime of a
4. Precipitation ­ the type and duration will impact on the river regime. Snow will often be
stored until warmer weather and seasonal rainfall patterns (monsoon) can cause great
variations in the river's regime over the year.
5. Vegetation ­ in summer months the abundance of vegetation in temperature climates often
increases and this can have an impact on the regime of a river, by reducing the amount of
water entering the river channel, as much is taken up by planets
6. Geology ­ impermeable rocks (granite) do not enable water to pass through the ground and
as a result it will flow over the surface directly into the river channel, in contrast permeable
rocks (chalk) allow water to penetrate into them and water may be stored and then slowly
released into the river channel via groundwater.
7. Snow Melt ­ stored water will be only released into the river during warmer spring months.
The snow melt will result in a dramatic increase in the volume of water in the river and can
cause flooding in extreme events.
8. Glacial Melt ­ ice will melt during the late spring and summer months when temperatures
increase in upland areas. As a result there will be a gradual release of melt water from the
amount of the glacier and the river will experience a slow increase in the river volume in the
warmer months.
9. Water Storage (lake or reservoir) ­ this delays or prevents water reaching the lower
stages of a river. Water can be extracted from the reservoir or lake for domestic or industrial
use, reducing the amount received downstream, Water can be released from dams as a
constant rate and therefore the amount of water in the river channel downstream may be
regulated. Evaporation rates in warmer months can be high and lake storage is often reduced
as a result
10. Human Use ­water extraction from the industrial and domestic use often takes place in areas
of high population density. The river water may be returned to the river at a later stage in the


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