Geography » River Landscapes

River Landscapes

Key Words

Course - the path of a river as it flows downhill.

V-Shaped valley - an area between mountians or hills with steep sides. A river normally runs along the bottom.

Vertical erosion - high turbulence causes rough, angular particles to scrap along  the river bed causing a downwards erosion.

Lateral erosion - erosion that widens the river valley.

Types of erosion:

  • Hydraulic action - force of the water breaks rock particles away from the channel.
  • Abrasion - rocks moved along in the river scrape and rub against the channel.
  • Attrition - rocks moving along in the river smash into each other causing them to smooth off and break into smaller fragments.
  • Solution - water dissolves rock.

Transportation - movement of eroded material.

Traction - boulders are pushed along the river bed.

Saltration - pebbles are bounced along the river bed.

Suspension - small particles are carried along in the river.

Solution - dissolved soluble materials car carried along in the river.

Deposition - river drops eroded material.

Waterfalls - form where a river flows over an ara of hard rock followed by an area of softer rock.

Gorge - deep narrow valley with steep rocky sides.

Interlocking spurs - hillsides that interlock with a river that winds around them.

Meanders - large bends in a river.

Ox-Bow Lakes - formed from meanders which have got larger over time.

Flood Plains - flat areas of land that flood.

Levees - natural embankments along the edges of a river channel.

Estuaries - tidal areas where the river meets the sea.

Contour Lines - orange lines on maps that tell you the height of the land.

River discharge - volume of water flowing in a river.

Dams - huge walls built across rivers to hold back the water.

Reservoir - an artificial lake formed behind a dam.



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