Characteristics of: the upper, middle and lower course of a river

Gradient for the upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: steep

Middle course: quite steep

Lower course: shallow

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Discharge for the upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: small

Middle course: large

Lower course: very large

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The depth for the upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: shallow

Middle course: quite deep

Lower course: very deep

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Channel shape for upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: narrow with steep sides

Middle course: flat with steep sides

Lower course: flat floor with gentle slope sides

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Velocity for the upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: quite fast (slowest out of the 3 courses of a river)

Middle course: fast

Lower course: very fast

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Valley shape of the upper, middle and lower course

Upper course: steep sides 

Middle course: flat with steep sides

Lower course: flat with gentle sloping sides

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Features in the upper, middle and lower course:

Upper course: waterfalls and interlocking spurs

Middle course: floodplains and meanders

Lower course: meanders, floodplains, levees and ox-bow lakes

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