Freshwater (Option Unit) Definitions

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hydrological cycle
describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth.
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'store' in the hydrological cycle
where water is kept, i.e. clouds, underground aquifers, oceans, rivers, waterfalls, lakes...
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'transfer' in the hydrological cycle
the change in form of water throughout the hydrological cycle.
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water balance
a water balance equation can be used to describe the flow of water in and out of a system.
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maximum sustainable yield
the maximum amount of which a resource can be used without running out.
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drainage basin
The area drained by a river and its tributaries. A drainage basin is considered to be an open system because water can be added or lost from a drainage basin.
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open system
matter and flow can flow in and out of the system
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graphical representation of temperature and rainfall of an area.
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lag time
the time between the peak rainfall and the peak water released from a river. This word is also used to refer to the period.
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rising limb
The period of time that the river is experiencing an increase in discharge.
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The beginning of a river. A river may have multiple sources. The source of a river is normally found in upland mountainous areas.
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The end of a river. A river may end in a lake, but more normally in the sea.
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A small river that flows into a larger river.
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Where two rivers meet.
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The border between two drainage basins.
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The tidal section of a river near the mouth.
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The physical confines of the river, encompassing two banks and a bed.
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The sides of a river channel. A river channel has two banks.
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The bottom of a river channel.
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drainage divide
a line that separates neighbouring drainage basins.
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multi-purpose scheme
any multi-purpose river projects have more than one goal. There may be a primary objective but secondary consequences are taken into account.
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Very simply a meander is a bend or a curve in a river. Why a river starts to bend is not fully understood, but one theory believes it is to do with riffles (shallow sections) and pools (deep sections).
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Levees are embankments found on the sides of a river channel. Levees can be made by or enlarged by humans, but we are only interested in levees that are made naturally.
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hydraulic action
This is when air and water gets trapped in cracks on a rivers beds and banks. The build up of pressure within the cracks causes bits of the bed and banks to break off and the cracks to get bigger.
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Load that is bounced along the bed of the river.
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An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted
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natural recharge
Natural replenishment of an aquifer generally from snowmelt and runoff; through seepage from the surface.
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artificial recharge
Artificial recharge may be defined as augmenting the natural movement of surface water into underground formations by artificially changing natural conditions.
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land consisting of marshes or swamps; saturated land.
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Soil salinity is the salt content in the soil; the process of increasing the salt content is known as salinization
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excessive richness of nutrients in a lake or other body of water, frequently due to run-off from the land, which causes a dense growth of plant life.
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Card 2


'store' in the hydrological cycle


where water is kept, i.e. clouds, underground aquifers, oceans, rivers, waterfalls, lakes...

Card 3


'transfer' in the hydrological cycle


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Card 4


water balance


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


maximum sustainable yield


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