River course and landforms

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Terms in this set (...)

Velocity
The speed at which a river flows; river velocity is often measured in metres per second.
Cross profile
A line that represents what it would be like to walk from one side of the valley, across the channel and up the other side of the valley.
Long profile
The shape and gradient of a river bed from source to mouth.
Channel cross section
A slice through the river channel to show its features.
Interlocking spurs
Areas of higher land jutting out of steep valley sides in a river's upper course.
V-shaped valley
A valley with a V-shaped cross section formed by river erosion.
Waterfall
The sudden, and often vertical, drop of a river along its course.
Gorge
A narrow, steep-sided valley. This is in front of the waterfall and is left behind as the waterfall retreats.
Plunge pool
A hollow in the river bed caused by erosion underneath a waterfall.
Meanders
A bend formed in a river as it winds across the landscape.
Oxbow lake
A horseshoe or semi-circular lake on a river flood plain, which has been cut off by a meandering river.
Slip-off slope
The gentle slope on the inside of a meander bend formed by deposition.
River cliff
A steep section of river bank, caused by fast-flowing water eroding the outside of a meander.
Floodplain
The flat land in the valley floor each side of a river channel, which is sometimes flooded.
Alluvium
Fine sediments which are deposited by rivers.
Levees
The naturally raised bank of sediment along a river bank, which may be artificially strengthened or heightened.
Delta
Formed where layers of sediment are deposited at river mouths faster than the sea can erode them. Deltas are usually roughly triangular in shape, and the river splits into several channels.
Distributaries
A smaller river channel created where a river splits, often to form a delta.
Sediment load
The sediment particles carried by a river.
Gradient
How steep a slope, river channel or valley is.