Rivers Glossary

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  • Created on: 29-03-13 18:41
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Glossary: Rivers and Coasts
Key Word Definition/Description
1) Closed System Has no inputs or outputs. Everything remains in the
system and is either stored or transferred ­ nothing is
added and nothing is taken away.
2) Condensation The process by which cooling vapour turns into a liquid.
3) Confluence The point at which two rivers join.
4) Drainage Basin The area which is drained by a river and its tributaries.
5) Drainage Density The total length of all the streams in the basin, divided
by the total area of the basin.
6) Evaporation The process where water changes from a liquid to a
7) Groundwater Water that has sunk through the soil into the rocks
below (infiltration).
8) Hydrological Cycle The water cycle (closed system)
9) Mouth Where a river ends its journey, flowing into a sea or lake.
10) Open System Has inputs and outputs. In other words, things can enter
and leave the system.
11) Precipitation Water that falls on the Earth's surface i.e. rain, snow,
sleet or hail.
12) Source The place where a river begins.
13) Surface runoff The movement of water over the land, possibly as a
14) System A system is made up of inputs, stores, transfers and
outputs. Systems can be closed or open.
15) Transpiration Plants giving off water vapour from their leaves.
16) Tributary A smaller river that joins a larger river.
17) Watershed The boundary between two drainage basins marked by
high land.
18) Storm Hydrograph Showing changes in the discharge of a river over a period
of time.
19) Impermeable A surface that doesn't let water pass through.


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