River Key Terms

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  • Created by: EmiLy1703
  • Created on: 10-10-15 16:41
Discharge
The volume of water flowing in the river, measured in cubic metres per second
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Velocity
The speed the river water flows at, usually measured in metres per second
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Erosion
The wearing away of the bed and banks of the river channel by abrasion, hydraulic action, solution and attrition
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Channel
The bed and banks of the river
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Load
The material carried by a river
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Source
The starting point of a river
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Mouth
The end point of a river, where it meets the sea
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Long profile
This shows how the gradient of the river changes from its upper to lower course
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Drainage Basin
The area around a river, from which it receives its supply of water
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Tributary
A smaller river that joins the main one
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Confluence
The point at which two rivers join the main one
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Abrasion
The transportation of sand and pebbles along the river bed causing the beds and banks to be worn down
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Attrition
Where rocks and stones wear each other away as they knock together
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Hydraulic action
Where fast flowing water is forced into cracks, breaking up the banks over time
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Solution
Where alkaline rocks such as limestone are dissolved by acidic rainwater
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Traction
When large stones are dragged along the river bed
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Saltation
When smaller stones or pebbles are carried by the river in a 'leapfrog' motion
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Suspension
When tiny particles of sediment are carried suspended in the flow of a river
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Weathering
The breakdown of rock which happens where the rock is weakened by being chemically attacked and mechanically broken down
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Storm hydrograph
A graph which shows how a river changes as a result of rainfall. It shows two things; rainfall and discharge
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Alluvium
Rock particles (clay, silt, sand and gravel) deposited by a river, especially in times of flood
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Antecedant rainfall
The amount of moisture already in the ground before a rainstorm
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Bedload
The material carried by a river by being bounced or rolled along its bed
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Estuary
The tidal mouth of a river, with large, flat expanses of mud exposed at low tide
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Gorge
A steep-sided, narrow rocky valley marking the retreat of a waterfall
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Bankful
The discharge or contents of the river which is just contained within its banks. This is when the velocity is at its greatest
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Base flow
The usual, reliable level of a river
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Floodplain
Flat land around a river that gets flooded when the river overflows
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Helical flow
A continuous corkscrew motion of water as it flows along a river channel
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Impermeable
A surface that doesn't let water pass through
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Meander
A bend in the river. The outside of the meander has the fastest flow and deepest water
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Middle course
The section of the river between the mountains and the lowland, where transport of eroded material is important and the river begins to cut sideways due to the reducing gradient
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Oxbow lake
A lake formed when a loop in a river is cut off by floods
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Permeable
Letting water pass through
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Point bar
The accumulation of river sediment on the inside of a meander
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Scree
Shattered rock fragments that gather on steep slopes
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Thalweg
The line of fastest flow along the course of a river
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Interlocking spurs
Hills that stick out on alternate sides of a V-shaped valley, like the teeth of a zip
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Levées
River embankments built by deposition as the river floods
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Lower course
The section of the river near the sea, where deposition is the most important process and the valley becomes wider and flatter
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The speed the river water flows at, usually measured in metres per second

Back

Velocity

Card 3

Front

The wearing away of the bed and banks of the river channel by abrasion, hydraulic action, solution and attrition

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The bed and banks of the river

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The material carried by a river

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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