Geography - Water on the Land (river etc..)

Another revision pack for those taking "water on the land" unit 1 for their physical geography!

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Geography Revision
Water on the Land ­ Unit 1
The River Valley
1) A path of a river as it flows downhill is called its course
2) Rivers have an upper course (closest to the source), a middle course, and a lower
course (closest to the mouth of the river)
3) Rivers form channels and valleys as they flow
4) They erode the landscape, then transport the eroded materials to someplace else
with a slow stream to deposit it
5) The shape of the valley and channel changes along the river depending on whether
erosion or deposition is having the most impact.
6) The long profile of a river shows you how the gradient changes over the different
7) The cross profile shows the cross section of what a river looks like
Long Profile
Course Gradient Valley shape Channel Shape Cross Profile
Upper Steep V-shaped valley, steep sides Narrow, shallow
Middle Medium Gently Sloping valley sides Wider, deeper
Lower Gentle Very wide, almost flat valley Very wide, deep
The long profile does not show us what the river looks like, or how deep it is, or the amount
of erosion taking places. However, it can show us waterfalls. For example, just before the
middle course there is a large dip, this would most likely be a waterfall as it drops
immediately after a relatively gentle slope.

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Page 2

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Cross Profile
Erosion can be either vertical or lateral ­ both types happen at the same time but one is
usually dominant over the other at different points along the river.
Four Types of Erosion
Or as I like to remember it, the AHA'S:
1) Abrasion ­ Eroded rocks picked up by the river scrape and rub against the
channel, wearing it away.…read more

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There are a few reasons why rivers slow down and deposit material:
The volume of water in the river falls
The amount of eroded material in the water increases
The water is shallower, e.g. on the inside of a bend
The river reaches its mouth
River Landforms
Upper course river features include steepsided Vshaped valleys, interlocking spurs,
rapids, waterfalls and gorges.
Middle course river features include wider, shallower valleys, meanders, and oxbow
Lower course river features include wide flatbottomed valleys, floodplains and deltas.…read more

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These are always formed in the middle and lower courses.
1) The current (the flow of the water) is faster on the outside of the bend because the
river channel is deeper.…read more

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These are natural embankments along the edges of a river channel. During a flood,
eroded material is deposited over the whole flood plain. The heaviest material is
deposited closest to the river channel, because it gets dropped first when the river slows
down. Over time, the deposited material builds up, creating levees along the edges of the
channel, e.g. along the yellow river in China.
River Discharge
River discharge is simply the volume of water that flows in a river per second.…read more

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A river is likely to flood when the graph's line is steep. This is because there is a rapid
increase in discharge over a short period in time. Floods can cause extensive damage.
Flooding notoriously hits LEDC's harder than MEDC's. This is because they have worse
education of how to deal with floods, worse warnings and not enough defensive measures
in place to handle the floods.…read more

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As technology and industry advance the demand for water grows
2) As LEDC's industrialise and urbanise their demand for water grows.
3) Most MEDC's are becoming wealthier and so people are spending more money
on technology and increasing the demand for water
One way to deal with the supply and demand problem is to transfer water from areas of
surplus to areas of deficit. Water transfer can cause a variety of issues such as it can
affect the wildlife that lives in the river.…read more


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