Physical Geography - Theme A

Physical Geography - some of the notes I took in class.

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  • Created on: 23-01-12 21:31
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Physical Geography _ Theme A
Components of the drainage basin cycle
Infiltration: when water soaks into the upper layers of the soil.
Ground water flow: when the water stored in the rock below the surface travels
laterally (sideward) through the rocks towards the river or sea.
Percolation: the deep downward movement of water into the rocks below the soil
Surface run off / overland flow: water flowing across the surface of the land
towards rivers and the sea. This happens when the soil is full of water and can
hold no more/ when the rain arrives quickly / where there is an impermeable
surface e.g concrete. This brings water quickly to the river channel.
Interception: when the leaves of trees catch falling rain. This water may later be
evaporated from the leaf or flow down the stem of the plant to reach the ground.
This delays water reaching the ground.
Through flow: when the water travels slowly through the air spaces in the soil
towards the river/ sea.
Water cycle: the continuous cycle of water between land, sea and the
Precipitation: all the water released from the clouds such as rain, snow, hail ect.
River discharge: the water flowing in the river channel.
Ground water: water which is collected in the pores of permeable rocks/ top layer
of impermeable rock which is deep under the surface.
Features of the drainage basin
Drainage basin: area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.
Confluence: a point where two rivers (*tributary) meet the main river channel.
Source: the starting point of a river, it may be a lake, glacier or marsh.

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Soluble materials dissolve in the water and are carried in solution.
The smallest load, like fine sand and clay, is held up continually within the river
The bouncing of medium sized load along the river bed.
The rolling of large rocks along the river bed. this requires a lot of energy, and
the largest bed load will only be moved like this in times of severe flood.
Deposition is when a river drops its load.…read more

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The Lower Course ­ close to mouth
The bed load is small and rounded
River channel is wide and deep
High river discharge
High energy/ river velocity
Low friction from the bed load and river bed and banks
1. width and depth increase
(width x depth = cross sectional area)
River discharge increases with distance from source.
More water in the channel means more energy.
Erosion will take place.
Erosion creates a wide and deep channel in the lower course.…read more

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Attrition). (Corrosion) mineral particles are
dissolved by chemicals in the river water.
4. volume of water in river
with distance from source river discharge increases. This is because at the
source the river is only being fed by water from a small % of the drainage basin.
with increasing distance from source the river is receiving water from a greater
% of the drainage basin + tributaries are now joining the main river channel.…read more

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Erosion takes place ­ hydraulic action and corrosion ­ at the outer bend.
Erosion cuts the bank of the interlocking spur.
Inner bend has slower/ less water deposition takes place.
Overtime the meander migrates laterally (sideward) and downstream.
Inner bend deposition ( point bar) continues forming.
Outer bend ­ interlocking spur is cut back further
Process keeps happening
Eventually the river will meander within a belt and there will be low lying
hills on either side of the floodplain.…read more


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