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Learning Intentions
We are learning to......
· Define the term discharge.
· Calculate stream order.
· Identify rivers locally and globally.
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In pairs can you remember from Year 10 what
these terms mean?
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River Discharge
Discharge is the amount of water in a river
passing a given point at a given time, normally
given as cubic metres of water per second
(cumecs). It is calculated by multiplying the
cross-sectional area of a river channel at a
certain point by the velocity of the river at
the same point.
The cross-sectional area is obtained by
multiplying the width of the river by the
average depth. The velocity of the river is
recorded using a flow metre that when dipped
into the river gives a digital reading of the
velocity of the river in metres per second.
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Discharge increases downstream because
more tributaries have joined onto the main
channel. Any stream which does not have a
tributary along its course is a 1st order
stream. When two 1st order streams join
together they form a 2nd order stream. When
two second order streams join together they
form a 3rd order stream. Stream order only
increases when two streams of the same
order join together.
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Calculating Stream Order
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