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*Chapter Overview* -Running Water -The Work of Streams -Water Beneath the Surface

the movement of surface water into rock or soil through cracks and pore spaces


provides the most important link b/t the oceans & the land

the atmosphere

the avg. annual precip. over Earth = the amount of H2O that evaporates

Balance in the water cycle

the ability of a stream to erode & transport materials depends largely on its


the distance that H2O travels in a period of time


along straight stretches, the highest velocities are near the ______ of the channel just below the surface


the center of the channel is where friction is _______ (lowest or highest)


a stream's zone of max. speed shifts toward ___ ______ ____ when a stream curves

its outer bank

a stream's gradient, shape, size, & roughness of its channel are all factors that determine the ________ of a stream


the slope or steepness of a stream channel


usually expressed as the vertical drop of a stream over a certain distance


portions of the Mississippi River have very low gradients of __cm per km or less


the _______ the gradient, the more energy the stream has as it flows downhill


the course that the water in a stream follows

stream channel

shape, size, & roughness of the channel affect the amount of ______


the volume of H2O flowing past a certain point in a given unit of time


the discharge of most rivers change with

rainfall & snowmelt

when the discharge changes, so do the ____ & ________ of the stream

size & velocity

as the size of the channel __________, (increases or decreases) there is less friction & the H2O flows more swiftly


while gradient decreases b/t a stream's headwaters & mouth, _________ increases


a stream that empties into another stream


the lowest point to which a stream can erode its channel; the level at which the mouth of a stream enters the ocean, lake, or another stream

base level

the ultimate base level

sea level

a bend in the course of a stream; a stream in a broad, flat-bottomed valley that is near its base level often develops a course w/ many bends called


if base level dropped or the land was uplifted, the river would _______ its channel


the ability of streamsto carry a load is determind by: (2 factors)

competence & capacity

measures the largest particles a stream can transport


streams generally erode their channels by lifting loose particles by: (3- a,g, & dsm)

abrasion, grinding, & dissolving soluble material

streams can transport sediment in 3 ways. 1) in solution (_________ ____)

dissolved load

streams can transport sediment in 3 ways. 2) in suspension (__________ ____)

suspension load

streams can transport sediment in 3 ways. 3)scooting or rolling along the bottom (___ ____)

bed load

this 'Load' enters streama through groundwater

dissolved load

this 'Load' is usually expressed by ppm

Dissolved load

ppm stands for

parts per million

the 'Load' in suspension

Suspended load

streams usually carry only ____, ____, & ____ this way

sand, silt, & clay

streams also transport larger particles during a flood b/c H2O ________ increases


part of a stream's 'load' of solid material that is made up of sediment too large to be carried in suspension

bed load

the larger, coarser particles of this load move along the bottom of disneychannel

bed load

occurs as streamflow drops below the critical setting velocity of a certain particle size


the process when a stream seperates solid particles of various sizes, large to small


the sorted material deposited by s tram is called


accumulation of sediment formed where a stream enters a lake or ocean


a landform that parallels some streams; form when a stream overflows its banks

natural levee

a flat valley floor; produced by the side-to-side cutting of a stream


the most prominent features of a narrow valley

rapids & waterfalls

most of the erosion occurs on the outside of the meander--often called the ___ ____--where velocity & turbulence are greatest

cut bank

form in zones of decreased velocity on the insides of meanders

point bars

occurs when the discharge of a stream b/c so great that it exceeds the capacity of its channel and overflows its banks


most floods are caused by (2)

rapid spring snowmealt or storms

new, shorter channel segment is called a cutoff &, b/c of its shape, the abandoned bend is called an

oxbow lake

measures to control flooding include (3: al, fcd, & plofd))

artificial levees, flood control dams, & placing limits on floodplain development

levees that increase the volume of H2O a channel can hold

Artificial levees

store H2O then let it out slowly

flood control dams

allows floodplains to absorb floodwaters w/ little harm to homes & businesses

limiting development

the land area that contributes H2O to a stream

drainage basin

an imaginary line that seperates the drainage basins of one stream from another


much of the H2O in soil seeps downward until it reaches the (zone of)

zone of saturation

the area where water fills all of the open spaces in sediment & rock (zone)

zone of saturation

the H2O within the zone of saturation


the upper level of the saturation zone

the water table

the area above the water table where the soil, sediment, & rock are not saturated

zone of aeration

impermeable layers that get in the way or prevent H2O movement are


the amount of groundwater that can be stored depends on


the % of the total volume of rock or sediment that consists of pore spaces


permeable rock layers or sediments that transmit groundwater freely


aquifers are important b/c they are the source of


forms whenever the water table intersects the ground surface


form when an aquitard blocks downward movement of groundwater & forces it to move laterally


6 degrees C to 9 degrees C warmer than the mean annual air temp. where it occurs

hot spring

an intermittent hot sprong or fountain in which a column of water shoots up with great force at various intervals


occur where extensive underground chambers exist within hot igneous rocks


a hole bored into the zone of saturation


greatest use of well water in the US

irrigation for agriculture

any formation in which groundwater rises on its own under pressure

artesian well

naturally formed underground chamber; when groundwater comes in contact w/ llimestone, the carbonic acid


erosion forms most caverns at or below the water table in the

zone of saturation

calcium carbonate left behind produces the limestone we call


the deposition of dripstone features is not possible until the caverns are above the water table in the

zone of aeration

icicle-like stone pendants that hang from the ceiling of a cavern


form when water seeps through cracks in the cavern ceiling


calcite creates a hollow limestone tube called

soda straw

formations that develop on the floor of a cavernn& reach toward the ceiling


many areas of the world have landscapes that have been shaped laregly by dissolving power of groundwater

karst topography

karst areas typically have irregular terrain, w/ many depressions called


form when bedrock dissolves &caverns collapse


1st thing to remember about narrow & wide valleys


the single most important erosional agent on Earth

running water

if you were to examine the profile of a typical stream, you would probably find that the gradient is

steepest near the head

occasionally, deposition causes the main channel of a stream to divide into several smaller channels called


a cavern is an underground chamber formed by


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