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Riverine Features

Riverine Features and Processes

Solution Dissolved rock (invisible)
Hydraulic action Force of moving water breaking material from bed and banks.
Source The place where a river begins.
River course The route taken by a river between its source and its mouth.
River basin The total area drained by a river and its tributaries.
Delta These form at the mouth of the river due deposition of material. The main channel splits into many smaller distributaries.
Levee Natural embankments that form along the river in the lower course. caused by the deposition of heavy material in floods.
Floodplain Large, flat & fertile areas by the side of a river in the lower course, caused by deposition of soil/silt in times of flood.
Distributary A river branch flowing away from the main stream.
Load Total amount of sediment being transported, including dissolved, suspended and bed.
Meander The water flows the fastest around the outside of a river bend. This erodes it and widens the bend. On the inside of the bend the water is travelling slowly and this leads to deposition.
Plain A broad area of relatively flat land.
Traction The rolling of stones & rocks. Usually larger rocks.
Saltation Stones/rocks bouncing. Usually smaller rocks due to the energy required.
Tributary A stream or river which joins a larger river.
Interlocking spurs Areas of high ground which seem to ‘lock’ into each other as they stick out across a V-shaped valley.
Attrition The breaking of stones when they collide with other material.
Ox-bow lake Two meanders may get so wide that they join up. When this occurs the river takes the shortest route and the meander becomes cut-off.
Alluvium A deposit of clay, silt, and sand left by flowing floodwater in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil.
Deposition Process that occurs when the river loses its energy and drops its load.
Confluence The joining of a tributary to the larger channel.
Mouth The wide end of the river, where it meets the sea.
Watershed The outer limit of the drainage basin.
Corrosion The dissolving of rock (limestone etc) by acid in the water.
Estuary The zone of mixing between the river and the ocean.
Pothole Pebbles carried by swirling water abrade small circular depressions into the rocky riverbed.
Abrasion The scraping action of material being transported.
Waterfall Where a band or hard rock lies on an area of soft rock. The soft rock erodes so that a vertical drop develops and a plunge pool. forms at the base.
V-Shaped valley Young rivers erode vertically to form vales with steep sides and narrow floors.
Suspension Very small particles being carried along in the river current.
Created by: Fiona Stapleton
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