Rivers

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THE HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE

  • Water evaporates - it turns from a liquid to a gas
  • Wind blows the water vapour inland, where it rises and cools
  • When the water vapour condenses, a cloud is formed
  • The droplets of water become bigger and heavier, until they fall to the ground as precipitation
  • Some of the precipitation flows over the land into rivers and back into the sea
  • Some water soaks into the ground and slowly seeps into rivers
  • Some water is absorbed by plant roots.  Some of this water escapes from the surface of leaves in a process called transpiration

RIVER BASIN TERMINOLOGY

  • The source - the place where the river starts
  • Tributary - a small river joining the main one
  • Confluence - the place where a river or tributaries join
  • Floodplain - the area of alluvium on the valley floor
  • Watershed - the highland rim of a drainage basin
  • Estuary - the place where the river widens as it meets the sea
  • Drainage basin - a lowland area where all the precipitation that falls will eventually work its way into one river system
  • Meander - a bend or loop in the river

Inputs of the hydrological cycle:

  • Precipitation - condensed droplets of water falling from clouds

Outputs of the hydrological cycle:

  • Transpiration - where water escpapes from the surface of leaves
  • Evaporation - where water goes from a liquid to a gas
  • Water returned to sea through river channel

Storages of the hydrological cycle:

  • Interception - when precipitation is caught by plants
  • Surface storage - when precipitation is stored on the suface of the ground
  • Soil moisture storage - when precipitation is stored in the soil
  • Groundwater - water stored in rocks beneath the soil

Transfers of the hydrological cycle:

  • Stemflow - when water moves through the xylem of the plant
  • Infiltration - when water movers vertically downwards through the soil
  • Percolation - when water moves vertically downwards from the soil into rocks
  • Surface run-off - when water moves horizontally across the surface of the ground
  • Throughflow - when water moves horizontally through the soil
  • Groundwater flow - when water moves horizontally through the rocks beneath the soil
  • River channel flow - when water flows in the river channel

PROCESSES OF EROSION

  • Hydraulic action - when the force of the water dislodges parts of the river bed and forces air into cracks in the river bed
  • Corrasion - where the load of the river erodes the river bed
  • Attrition - where the particles carried with the river collide with each other and make each other rounder and smoother
  • Solution - when the river is slightly acidic and erodes the river bed chemically

PROCESSES OF TRANSPORT

  • Traction - when large boulders are pushed along the river bed by the force of the water
  • Saltation - when small pebbles bounce along the river bed, carried by the force of the water
  • Suspension - when fine particles like silt are carried along by the river
  • Solution - when soluble materials dissolve in the water…

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