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Geography Glossary 2

Geography Key Words and Definitions Rivers Topic

Evaporation A transfer of water from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere where it changes from a liquid to a gas
Condensation A transfer of water vapour back into water droplets due to cooling
Transpiration A transfer of water from vegetation to the atmosphere
Precipitation Water transferred from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface as snow, sleet or rain
Overland flow Water transfer over the land’s surface – the quickest route to the river. Also called ‘Surface Run-off’
Infiltration Water moving vertically into the soil AT THE SURFACE
Through flow Water moving sideways through airspaces in the soil (the second fastest route to the river)
Percolation Water travelling vertically down through the soil or rock
Groundwater flow Water travelling sideways through permeable rock. (the slowest route to the river)
Streamflow The transfer of water in river channels
Hydrological Cycle The natural circulation of water. The cycle is a natural system of ‘stores & transfers’
Lag response A slower rise in discharge, long lag time & lower discharge; perhaps due to permeable rock or gentle slopes
Flash response This response shows a steep increase in discharge, a short lag time & a high peak discharge. This can be caused by impermeable soils, deforestation or urbanisation
Lag time The time between peak rainfall and peak discharge
Hydrograph Shows the changes in discharge over time following a period of rainfall
Watershed The dividing line between two drainage basins
Tributary A small river feeding into the major river
Source The start of a river
Mouth Where the river meets the sea
Impermeable A surface that does not allow water to soak through
Drainage basin The area drained by a river & its tributaries
Discharge The volume of water in the river flowing past a certain point at a certain time
Confluence Where two rivers meet
Gradient The degree of steepness - can be seen on the long profile of a river
Suspended load The material moved along by the river
Saltation Smaller fragments carried in the flow of a river
Bedload Larger fragments rolled along the river bed
Traction Fragments bouncing along the river bed
Solution Dissolved minerals carried in the water
Lateral erosion Erosion of the sides of the valley
Vertical erosion Downward erosion of the river bed
Created by: sallyfizz