Rivers

Laura O' Sullivan
Flashcards by Laura O' Sullivan, updated more than 1 year ago
Laura O' Sullivan
Created by Laura O' Sullivan over 1 year ago
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Key words and definitions for LC Geog

Resource summary

Question Answer
Drainage basin Area of land that is drained by a river and its tributaries.
Watershed Ridge of high land that separates one drainage basin from another.
River discharge The volume of water that is carried by a river at a given point.
Velocity The speed that the water in the river is moving at.
Gradient How steep the slope that a river is flowing on. The steeper the slope, that faster the river should flow.
Turbulent flow The type of flow that occurs where the riverbed is rough. As the water flows, it is mixed and thrown around. It is important for erosion and transportation.
Drainage pattern The overall layout of a river and its tributaries on an area.
Dendritic drainage pattern Drainage pattern that resembles a tree in Winter.Develops on gently sloping land. Eg River Shannon.
Radial drainage pattern Streams drain outwards in all directions, away from a high central point. Eg the Twelve Pins in Co. Mayo.
Trellised drainage pattern Drainage pattern where tributaries join the main river at right angles, in a ridge and valley landscape or in glaciated valleys. Eg. River Lee
Deranged drainage pattern Drainage pattern that has a chaotic appearance. Rivers run in random patterns creating small lakes. This is associated with marshy or boggy lowlands, and glaciated landscapes. Eg. Monaghan
Dendritic drainage pattern
Radial drainage pattern
Trellis drainage pattern
Deranged drainage pattern
Erosion A collection of processes that wear away the landscape and transport a load to another location.
Hydraulic action Erosion caused by the force of moving water.
Cavitation A form of hydraulic action that takes place when air bubbles in the water collapse sending out tiny shockwaves.
Abrasion When the river uses the force of its load to erode.
Attrition A way of eroding the rivers load through small collisions between the particles of the load.
Solution Chemical weathering of the rock, whereby soft rocks are dissolved by the water in the river.
Vertical erosion Erosion that is active in the youthful stage of a river, making the valley deeper.
Lateral erosion Erosion that is active in the mature and old age stage of the river, making the river channel and valley wider.
Headward erosion Erosion that is active upstream of the rivers source, lengthening the river in an upstream direction.
Load The various materials which are transported by the river
Solution Slightly acidic water in the river dissolves soluble minerals in the rock, transporting them as solution.
Suspension The lightest particles of the load are carried along in the flow of the river without settling.
Saltation Particles of sand, gravle and small stones are picked up by the water, carried forward only to be dropped to the riverbed. Particles hop downstream.
Traction The largest stones and boulders are rolled and dragged along the riverbed.
Bedload The load the river moves along its bed by saltation or traction.
Alluvium The general term for sorted sediments (sand, clay and silt) that are deposited in layers (strata) by rivers.
Long profile Shows how a rivers gradient changes as it flows from its source to its mouth.
Base level The level below which a river cannot erode vertically. This may be sea level or where a river flows into a lake or reservoir.
Youthful/Upper course In this stage, the gradient is steep, the river channel is narrow and erosion is the dominant process.
Youthful/Upper course
Mature/Middle course The river has more energy and volume in this stage. The gradient is gentler and the river course has become deeper. Vertical erosion gives way to lateral erosion.
Mature/Middle course
Old/Lower Course Volume of water is at its greatest in this stage. River channel is deep and wide. While there is some lateral erosion, deposition is the dominant process.
Old/Lower Course
Long profile
V-shaped valley
V-shaped valley
Waterfall
Waterfall
Meanders
Meanders
Ox-bow lake
Oxbow lake
Source The place where a river starts.
Tributary Small river that joins the main river.
Confluence The point where a tributary joins the main river.
Mouth Where the river goes into the sea.
Flood plain
Flood plain
Flood plain The area around a river that's prone to flooding.
Levee
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