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Rivers Terminology

Words relating to rivers

Condensation The cooling of a gas so that it changes into a liquid, for instance as water vapour cools, it condenses to become water droplets, which, when heavy enough, fall as rain
Confluence Where two rivers meet and join to form one larger river.
Delta A build up of sediment at the point where a river meets a sea or lake, due to the water velocity slowing and the river having less energy to carry the sediment.See later section for details.
Drainage Basin The area of land drained by a river and its tributaries.
Estuary The point at which a river begins to meet the sea. The river will be tidal, meaning that it will have both salt water and fresh water in it.
Evaporation Water that is warmed, usually by the sun, so that it changes into a gas (water vapour).
Evapo-transpiration The combination of evaporation and transpiration.
Fluvial relating to a river, from the Latin for water.
Groundwater see Percolation
Hydrology The study of water
Infiltration The downward movement of water that seeps into the soil or a porous rock.
Mouth The end of the river, where it meets the sea, or a lake.
Overland Flow When water flows over the surface of the ground. This occurs for a number of reasons
Percolation The movement of water through the soil or underlying porous rock. This water collects as groundwater.
Precipitation Waterfalling to Earth in any form
Surface Run-off see Overland Flow
Throughflow the movement of water with in the soil sideways, towards the river.
Transpiration The water loss from vegetation into the atmosphere.
Tributaries rivers running into the main one, that form part of the same drainage basin system.
Velocity The speed of the flow of the river.
Watershed The imaginary dividing line between neighbouring drainage basins.
Created by: MiniDotty