Rivers Key terms

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Abrasion
The scraping, scouring, rubbing, grinding and drilling action of materials being moved by a river.
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Attrition
The collision of one piece of a river's load with another, breaking bits of rock in the process. This has the effect of making the load rounder and smaller
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Base level
The lowest limit to which erosion can take place, usually sea level.
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Base level
This occurs when a heavily loaded river rapidly loses energy and rocks are deposited mid channel.
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Channel cross profile
The view of the river channel from one side of a channel to another.
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Cumec
The unit of discharge measured in metres cubed per second to the power of -1
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Deforestation
The clearance of forest deliberately by cutting or burning.
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Deposition
The laying down of solid material, such as silt, in the river bed or floodplain.
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Drainage basin
The area of land drained by a river and it's tributaries.
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Drainage basin hydrological cycle
An open system with inputs, outputs, transfers, and stores that maps the movement of water through a drainage basin.
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Drilling
A form of abrasion where a pebble trapped in a hollow on a stream bed is rotated by the moving water so that it wears away the bedrock in a circular fashion.
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Efficiency
The ratio of the cross sectional area of a river and it's wetted perimeter, it is expressed as the hydraulic radius.
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Erosion
The wearing away of the land surface by rocks carried in a river.
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Evapotranspiration
The total amount of water leaving a vegetated surface by the joint process of evaporation and transpiration.
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Graded profile
A theoretical form of river long profile that exists when there is a balance between the rate of erosion and the rate of deposition. Typically it is steep near the source and reduces in gradient towards the base level.
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Groundwater
Water which is collected underground in pore spaces in rocks.
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Groundwater flow
The movement of groundwater
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Hard engineering
A series of management strategies where there is collected distribution of natural processes by using man made structures.
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Hjulstroms curve
A graph that shows the relationship between the velocity of the river and the size of particles that can be eroded, transported, and deposited.
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Hydraulic action
An erosional process where the banks and bed of the river are eroded by the river's water alone.
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Hydraulic radius
A measure of the efficiency of river. The ratio of the cross sectional area to the wetted perimeter.
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Infiltration
The movement of water from surface down into the soil.
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Interception
The process by which precipitation is prevented from reaching the soil by leaves and branches in trees as well as by herbacious plants and grasses
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Kinetic energy
The energy of a moving mass. It is a function of mass and velocity.
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Long profile
A diagram that shows the changes in the altitude of a rivers course as it goes from source to mouth.
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Overland flow
The rapid movement of water over saturated or impermeable land/surfaces
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Precipitation
Water that falls from the sky e.g. rain, hail, sleet, etc.
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Runoff
Water that runs off the surface of the land.
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Surface storage
Total value of water held at the earth's surface.
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Soil moisture storage
Water held by soil particles underneath roots of plants.
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Stemflow
Water that runs down stems or branches
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Throughfall
Water that drips off trees during a storm.
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Throughflow
Water that moves downslope through subsoil pulled by gravity
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Water table
Level of saturated ground in the soil. It will rise and fall dependent on rainfall.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The collision of one piece of a river's load with another, breaking bits of rock in the process. This has the effect of making the load rounder and smaller

Back

Attrition

Card 3

Front

The lowest limit to which erosion can take place, usually sea level.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

This occurs when a heavily loaded river rapidly loses energy and rocks are deposited mid channel.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The view of the river channel from one side of a channel to another.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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