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percent of water stored in the ocean


percent of water stored in ice sheets and glaciers


percent of groundwater

hydrologic cycle

un-ending circulation of earths water supply


a portion of water from precipitation that soaks in the ground


when the rate of rain fall exceeds earths ability to absorb it, the surplus water flows over the surface into lakes and streams


when water that infiltrated the ground surface is absorbed by plants, which then release it into the atmosphere


when we can not distinguish between the amount of water that is evaporated and the amount that is transpired by plants

drainage basin

the land area that contributes water to a river system


imaginary line seperating the drainage basin of one stream from the drainage basin of another

river (stream)

water flowing in a channel

laminar flow

very slow moving streams that flow in roughly straight paths that parallel the stream channel (opposite of turbulent flow)

turbulent flow

water moving in an erratic fashion that can be characterized as a swirling motion


the distance that water travels per unit of time

factors of velocity

gradient,shape,size,and roughness of channel


the slope of a stream expressed as the vertical drop of a stream over a specified distance.


conduit that guides the flow of water

intermittent streams

streams that exibit flow only during "wet" periods

ephemeral streams

streams that carry water only occasionally after a heavy rainstorm


a cross-sectioned view of a stream from its source area (head) to the mouth. (point downstream where the stream emptys into another body of water)


the volume of water flowing past a certain point in a given unit of time

sheet flow

on barren slopes the flow of muddy water

dissolved load

stream load consists of material in solution

suspended load

stream load consists of material in suspension

bed load

stream load consists of material sliding or rolling along the bottom


measures the max. size of particles it is able to transport


max. load it can carry


process by which particles of various sizes are separated


the material deposited by a stream (occurs when material sinks or stops moving because the velocity is too low)


sweeping bend (in a water body)

cut off

new shorter channel segment

oxbow lake

the abandon bend in a stream when a cut off forms


showing a inter-woven appearance (form where large portion of the stream load consists of coarse material and the stream has a highly variable discharge)

base level

lower limit to how deep a stream can erode (commonly occur where the stream enters another body of water)

ultimate base level

sea level

(temporary) local base levels

lakes, resistant layers of rock, and main streams that act as a base level for their tributeries

Meander Scar

The remnants of a dried up oxbow lake

Braided Stream

Stream where the pattern is crossing over


Deposit of sediment into a larger body of water

Down cutting

when stream erosion occurs vertically


when a river takes on the properties of a younger river (becomes young again)


area on a river where water flows backwards, flowing upstream


broad, flat valley floor covered with alluvium

cut bank

where a river erodes laterally into a bank

entrenched meander

meander that has experienced down cutting

point bar

formed by deposition on a river

alluvial fan

feature when a river comes out of a mountain and drops onto a valley floor (contain braided streams)

incised meanders

meandering channels that flow in steep, narrow, valleys


smaller channels that divide off of the main channel and carry water away from the main channel.

natural levee

mound that is parallel to channels on both banks and is formed by repetitive floods

back swamps

marshes, formed behind levees and are characteristically poorly drained

yazoo tributaries

tributary streams that can not enter a river because of levees blocking the way. (flow parallel to river until they enter the main river later on)


river pattern of irreguarly branching streams (most common river pattern)


river pattern when streams diverge from a central area like spokes from a hub of a tire (typically develops on isolated volcanic cones and dominal uplifts)


river pattern in which many right angle bends can be seen. Develops where bedrock faults or criss cross of series of joints


river pattern in which tributary streams are nearly parallel to one another


when the discharge of a stream exceeds the capacity of its channel


percent of water divided among lakes, streams, and the atmosphere


skips along bed of river , river can lift up but not for long

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