44 terms

IB Freshwater Vocab

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inputs
Matter or energy that enters a system
outputs
Matter or energy that leaves a system
stores
Parts of the water system where water remains for a while eg. Interception store
Transfers
The movement of water from one part of the water system to another. Eg from interception storage in trees to the ground.
Bradshaw Model
The model that shows how some river variables change from source to mouth.
Steam discharge
The volume of water each second that passes a particular point in a river. It is found by multiplying the cross sectional area of the occupied channel with the average velocity.
Drainage basin
The area in which all water that falls as rain will drain into a given river system
Hydraulic Radius
The dimensionless measure of how efficient a river channel is. Found by dividing the occupied channel width by the wetted perimeter.
Throughflow
Water flowing through soil that often ends up in rivers.
Aquifer
Rocks that store water underground. People drill boreholes into them to access the water.
Infiltration rate
The speed at which water can enter the soil
Infiltration capacity
The volume of water a given soil can hold
Overland flow / Surface runoff
Water flowing on the surface when precipitation rate exceeds infiltration rate and/or when the soil is saturated (infiltration capacity exceeded)
Percolation
Water moving deep into the groundwater zone
Interception
When plants stop (intercept) the rain
Throughfall and stemflow
When precipitation exceeds the capacity of the plants to intercept the rain then water will drop to the ground (throughfall) and trickle down plant stems (stemflow)
Baseflow
Slow steady flow (except in limestone) of water through bedrock into river channels. The river channel has to be beneath the water table (in the zone of saturation)
Evapotranspiration
The sum of the water liquid evaporated from the plants into the air above. It includes water transpired through the plants from the soil below and rain water or condensation on the plant surfaces evaporating back into the air.
Drainage divide or watershed
The boundary between two drainage basins usually along a ridge of higher land.
Infiltration
The process by which water sinks into the soil
Abrasion/corrasion (a type of erosion)
The wearing away of the bed and bank by the load carried by a river.
Attrition (a type of erosion)
The wearing away of the load carried by a river. It creates smaller, rounder particles.
Hydraulic action (a type of erosion)
The force of air and water on the sides of rivers and in cracks.
Solution / corrosion (a type of erosion)
The removal of chemical ions, especially calcium, which causes rocks to dissolve.
Suspension (a type of transport)
Small particles held up by turbulent flow in the river.
Saltation (a type of transport)
Heavier particles bounced or bumped along the bed of the river.
Traction (a type of transport)
The heaviest material dragged or rolled along the bed of the river.
Flotation (a type of transport)
Leaves and twigs carried on the surface of the river.
Groundwater
Subsurface water
Aquifers
Porous rocks such as sandstone or limestone that contain significant quantities of water. Underlain with impermeable rock
Wetlands
Land with soils that are permanently saturated
Irrigation
The artificial addition of water to soil for farming
Salinization
The buildup of salt in the soil, sometimes caused by poor irrigation techniques.
Eutrophication
The nutrient enrichment of streams, ponds and groundwater
Floculation
The process in which small particles in water are made to coagulate (clump together).
Flood
A high water level along a river channel or on a coast that leads to inundation of land which is not normally submerged.
Fluvial
Common term used that is of or referring to a river e.g fluvial processes
Sinuosity
the extent to which a river meanders
Wetted perimeter
The length of the bed and the banks in contact with the river.
Discharge
the volume of water that passes through a stream's cross-section in a given time period.
Velocity
The speed of flow of the stream
Drainage density
the ratio of total length of the streams in a basin to the total area of the basin.
Drainage divide
a highland or ridge that separates one watershed from another
Wetlands
An area regularly/seasonally/permanently/always saturated by surface water and/or groundwater.