25 terms

Freshwater Vocab

STUDY
PLAY
rill
The smallest type of channel
gully
A larger channel in the soil that carries runoff after a rainstorm or snow melt.
channel
Any sloping path that runoff runs through
gradient
The steepness of the land
discharge
The volume of water that flows through a stream or river in a specific amount of time (measured in volume/time).
load
The material carried by a river or stream.
tributary
A stream or river that flows into a larger river.
watershed
An area of land that drains into a river or lake.
divide
An area of high land that separates one watershed from another.
deposition
Process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.
meander
A curve or loop in a river
riverbank
land along a river
alluvial fan
A fan-shaped deposit of sediment formed when a stream's slope is abruptly reduced.
delta
A land form made of sediment that is deposited where a river flows into an ocean or lake
floodplain
broad flat areas adjacent to rivers which often flood after large amounts of precipitation
levee
a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water
lake
A body of (usually fresh) water completely surrounded by land.
reservoir
A large natural or artificial lake used as a source of water supply
algae bloom
A process by which nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, become highly concentrated in a body of water, leading to increased growth of microbes. This leads to a toxic environment for other organisms.
irrigation
A process in which water is supplied to the land by humans.
erosion
Processes by which rock, sand, and soil are broken down and carried away (i.e. weathering, glaciation)
oxbow lake
A crescent-shaped lake that is formed when a meander of a river is cut off from the main channel.
wetlands
These include marshes, swamps, estuaries, and bogs; these are ecosystems which have standing water for large parts of the year.
aeration zone
area above the water table where pores are at least partially filled with air
saturation zone
area below the water table where pores are filled with air