How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

44 terms

Rivers and Inland Waters

STUDY
PLAY
Stream
a small or large flow of water in natural channels
River
a relatively large flow of water in a natural channel
Brook
a term used for a small stream
Creek
a term used for a small stream
Gradient
the slope of a stream or river expressed as a loss in elevation of the stream or river with distance downstream
Headwaters
the areas of the river system that are farthest away from the mouth of the river
Downcutting
erosion of a valley stream
Floodplain
the area of a river valley next to the channel, which is built of deposoted sediments and is covered with water when the river overflows its banks at flood stage
Stream Discharge
the volume of water passing a point along the river in a unit of time
Meandering Streams
a stream with a channel that curves or loops back and forth on a wide floodplain
Meandering Bend
one of a series of curves or loops in the course of a mature river
Meandering Scars
low ridges on the part of the floodplain inside the meander bend caused by deposition of sediment on the point bar during a flood
Oxbow Lake
a crescent- shaped body of standing water situated in the abandoned channel (oxbow) of a meander after the stream formed a neck cutoff and the ends of the original bend were plugged up by fine sediment.
Aquifer
a body of porous rock or sediment that is sufficiently permeable to conduct groundwater.
Tributary System
a group of streams that contribute water to another stream
Trunk Stream
a major river, fed by a number of fairly large tributaries; the main stream in a river system
Distributary System
an outflowing branch of a river, such as what occurs characteristically on a delta
Drainage Basin
the area from which all of the rain that falls eventually flows to the same final destination, ussualy in the ocean
Drainage Divide
the boundary between adjacent drainage basins
Water Cycle
the constant circulation of water from sea, through the atmosphere, to the land, and its eventual return to the atmosphere by way of transpiration and eveaporation from the land and evaporation from the sea
Closed System
a system which material moves from place to place but is not gained or lost from the system
Evaporation
the change of state from a liquid to a gas. Heat is absorbed
Precipitation
water falls to the surface from the atmosphere as rain, snow, hail, or sleet
Surface Runoff
the part of the water that travels over the ground surface without passing beneath the surface
Ground Water
the part of the subsurface water that is in the zone of sauration, including underground streams
Transpiration
the process by which water absorbed by plants, usually through the roots, is emitted into the atmosphere from the plant surface in the form of water vapor
Reservoir
a place in the earth system thart holds water
Flux
the movement of water from one reservoir to another
Zone of Aeration
The upper zone which usually isn't completely filled with water, but with rocks and soil too. ( Is about Ground water)
Zone of Saturation
an area beneath the earth's surface which extends downward until all of the open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water
Infiltration
the process in which water enters the ground
Capillarity
the force of attraction between water and a solid surface such as a sediment grain
Water Table
the upper surface of the zone of saturation
Confined Aquifer
A groundwater storage area trapped between two impermeable layers of rock.
Artesian Well
a well drilled through impermeable strata into strata that receive water from a higher altitude so there is pressure to force the water to flow upward
Porosirty
a measure of the percentage of pores (open spaces) in a material
Permeable
a measure of how easy it is to force water to flow through a porous material
Saturated Zone
A layer of permeable rock or soil in which the cracks & pores are COMPLETELY FILLED with water
evapotranspiration
loss of warter from a land area through transpiration of plants and evaporation from the soil and surface water
Unconfined Aquifer
aquifer in which there is no impermeable layer restricting the upper surface of the zone of saturation
Recharge
addition of new water to an aquifer by downward flow of surface water
Aquiclude
a layer of impermeable rock adjacent to one that is permeable
Aqueduct
a conduit that resembles a bridge but carries water over a valley
Desalination
the process of removing dissolved salts from sea water in oreder to make it potable