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Unit 1 - Rivers - Key Terms (AQA GCSE)
Some key terms and definitions for key concepts in the Rivers section of Unit 1
Terms in this set (54)
The edge of a drainage basin and follows the highest points of land around a river.
The area of land drained by a river and its tributaries
This refers to the start of the river
A small stream or river feeding into the main river
The point at which a tributary joins the main river
The point at which a river drains into the sea.
This is the change in gradient of the river as it flows from source to mouth
The slope of the river bed - this will decrease as the river flows downstream as it passes from the upland area down to the lowland area where it enters the sea.
The amount of water passing a given point in a given time (m/s3). This is calculated by volume x velocity.
Channel Width and Depth
The channel's cross-section. More erosion will occur as discharge increases which deepens and widens the channel.
This is the speed of flow (m/s). As the river gets deeper the speed of flow can increase as there is less friction as there is less contact between the river and its banks.
This relates to the cross-sectional shape of the channel or valley - including width / depth and shape
The part through which the water actually travel
As the river cuts down into its bed
As the river cuts side to side into its banks
The wearing away of the land as the water flows past the bed and banks
This occurs as rocks bang against each other, gradually breaking each other down (rocks become smaller and less angular as attrition occurs)
This is caused by the scraping away of the river bed and banks by stones picked up and carried in the rivers flow.
This is where the force of the water in the channel hitting again the bed and banks gradually breaks particles away- particularly occurs when high-velocity flow.
Corrosion / Solution
The dissolving of minerals in the rocks in the bed and banks which are carried away in solution
Heaviest material rolling along the river bed
Particles bouncing along the bed of the river in a 'leap-frog' motion
Small particles - carried within the flow of the river
Some minerals dissolved in water and carried in solution.
These are vertical drops of water found in the upper course of a river due to vertical erosion
A steep-sided valley left behind as a waterfall retreats upstream
Hard areas of resistant rock around which rivers flow
A large bend in a river form due to the greater volume of water carried by the river in lowland areas which results in lateral (sideways) erosion causing the channel to cut into its banks
A steep bank on the outer bank of a meander created by erosion
Slip-off Slope / River Beach
A gentle slope of material on the inner bend of a meander formed by deposition.
Flat areas at the side of a river formed by a combination of erosion and deposition as a river floods.
A horseshoe shaped lake formed when a meander bend is cut off.
Where an ox-bow lake has dried up leaving the 'scar' or outline of the old bend in the landscape.
These are natural raised banks of sediment found along the side of rivers
The tidal part of a river where saltwater and freshwater meet
A graph which shows how river discharge changes in response to a precipitation event.
The highest discharge shown
The highest rainfall shown
The time between peak rainfall and peak discharge
The increase in river discharge as rainwater flows into the river
The decrease in river discharge as the river returns to normal level
The amount of water that can be held in a river channel
This occurs when channel capacity is exceed and no more water can fit in the river so it spills over the sides.
Physical causes of flooding
This is where flooding occurs due to natural factors (such as geology, relief, rainfall)
Human causes of flooding
Where the action of man has led to flooding - e.g. deforestation, urbanisation, climate change, up and down ploughing, dams breaking.
Where man-made structure are used to prevent or control natural processes from taking place. - e.g. dams
Flood Relief Channel
An extra channel built next to a river to divert water around important areas (Hard Engineering)
Taking out meanders to make the channel more efficient (Hard Engineering)
A barrier holding water back in a reservoir to release water in a controlled fashion. (Hard Engineering)
Artificially raised banks along the side of the river to increase potential capacity of the channel. (Hard Engineering)
Involves adapting to a river and working with natural processes
This identifies areas of land which are most and least at risk of flooding to influence decisions with regards to land-use planning (soft engineering)
Planting trees in a drainage basin to increase interception and reduce runoff (soft engineering)
Removing man-made controls on a river / returning it to its natural state (soft engineering).
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