44 terms

Rivers [IGCSE Geo]

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Abrasion
Rocks carried along by the river wear down the river bed and banks (sandpaper motion).
Afforestation
The planting of trees (a method to reduce flooding by increased interception).
Alluvium
A deposit of clay, silt, and sand left by flowing floodwater in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil.
Attrition
Rocks being carried by the river smash together and break into smaller, smoother and rounder particles.
Confluence
The point at which 2 rivers meet.
Deposition
The dropping of sediment that was being carried by a moving force
Discharge
The volume of water flowing through a river at a certain point.
Drainage basin
The area of land drained by a river and its tributaries
Erosion
The wearing away and removal of material by moving a force such as the flow of a river
Floodplain
The relatively flat area forming the valley floor on either side of a river channel, which is sometimes flooded
Flood risk
The predicted frequency of floods in an area
Geology
The rocks or soil which make up the solid part of the earth
Groundwater flow
Water that flows underground.
Hard engineering
Using solid structures to resist forces of erosion
Hydraulic Action
The force of the river against the banks can cause air to be trapped in cracks and crevices. The pressure weakens the banks and gradually wears it away.
Hydrograph
A graph which shows the discharge of a river, related to rainfall, over a period of time
Integrated river management
A holistic system of managing rivers that takes an overview of the whole river basin and the relationship between its different parts
Impermeable
Not allowing water to pass through.
Interception
When precipitation is interrupted in its fall to the ground e.g. by trees.
Infiltration
When water passes through a permeable surface e.g. soil.
Interlocking spurs
Areas of high land which stick out into steep sided valleys
Levee
Natural embankments of sediment along the banks of a river
Long profile
The gradient of a river, from it source to its mouth
Lower course
That part of a river system that is close to the mouth of the river
Meander
The bend formed in a river as it winds across the landscape
Middle (mid) course
The central section of a rivers course
Mouth
The point at which the river meets a sea or lake.
Ox-bow lake
An arc-shaped lake which has been cut off from a meandering river
Permeable
Allows water to pass through it.
River cliff
Steep outer edge of a meander where erosion is at its maximum
Saltation
Small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.
Sediment
Usually sand, mud or pebbles deposited by a river
Slip-off slope
Inner gentle slope of a meander where deposition takes place
Solution (corrosion)
minerals are dissolved in the water and carried along in solution
Source
The highest point of the river - its starting point.
Surface run-off
Water from rain, snowmelt or other sources than runs over the land.
Suspension
fine light material is carried along in the water
Traction
Large boulders and rocks are rolled along the river bed at times of high discharge.
Tributary
A smaller river that joins a larger one.
Upper course
The source area of a river, often in an upland or mountainous region
Urbanisation
The development and growth of towns and cities
Waterfall
Sudden descent of a river or stream over a vertical or very steep slope in its bed
Watershed
The boundary between drainage basins (normally higher land).
Weathering
The breakdown of rock by natural processes, without the involvement of any moving forces.