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┬á 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.



Links for Learning

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Bitesize: River processes
Bitesize: River landforms
S-Cool: Rivers
GCSE Rivers Glossary

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