Factors Affecting Discharge

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What is River Discharge?
It is simply the volume of water that flows in a river per second. It is measured in cumecs - cubic metres per second.
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The Amount and Type of Rainfall
Lots of rain and short, heavy periods of rainfall means there's more runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge will increase.
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Temperature
Hot, dry conditions and cold, freezing conditions both result in hard ground - this increases runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.
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Previous Weather Conditions
After lots of rain, soil can become saturated (it can't absorb any more water). More rainwater won't be able to infiltrate into the soil so runoff will increase. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.
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Rock Type - Permeable
Water infiltrates through pore spaces in permeable rock and flows along cracks in pervious rocks - this means there isn't much runoff. Lag time is increased, so discharge decreases.
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Rock Type - Impermeable
Water can't infiltrate into impermeable rock - this means there's a lot of runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.
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Land Use
Urban areas have drainage systems and they're covered with impermeable materials like concrete - these increase runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.
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Relief (how the height of the land changes)
Lots of runoff occurs on steep slopes. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Lots of rain and short, heavy periods of rainfall means there's more runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge will increase.

Back

The Amount and Type of Rainfall

Card 3

Front

Hot, dry conditions and cold, freezing conditions both result in hard ground - this increases runoff. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

After lots of rain, soil can become saturated (it can't absorb any more water). More rainwater won't be able to infiltrate into the soil so runoff will increase. Lag time is decreased, so discharge increases.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Water infiltrates through pore spaces in permeable rock and flows along cracks in pervious rocks - this means there isn't much runoff. Lag time is increased, so discharge decreases.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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