• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A case study of hydrosphere Colorado River

Extracts from this document...


COLORADO RIVER Hydrosphere A case study of * River management * People interfering in the hydrosphere * Balancing water from one area to another The Colorado river - basic facts It flows through southwest United States and northwestern Mexico. It is 2334 km (1450 miles long), the longest river west of the Rocky Mountains. Its source is west of the Rocky Mountains which is the watershed in northern Colorado, and, for the first 1600km (1000miles) of its course, passes through a series of deep gorges and canyons that were created by the eroding force of its current. The river flows in a generally southwestern direction across Colorado into south eastern Utah, where it is joined by its chief tributary, The Green River. After crossing the northern portion of Arizona, the Colorado flows west for 436 km (271 miles) through the majestic Grand Canyon. Then it flows in a generally southerly direction and forms the boundary between Arizona and the states on Nevada and California. ...read more.


Effects of river management: Gains Losses Economic * Increased income from farming in some areas * New industries attracted to the "Sunshine States" (footloose industries see attractive climate) * Hydro electric power has attracted new industries and created jobs - boosted local economy * Cheap electricity reduces dependence on oil and imports * Dams and Grand Ganyon a major tourist attraction. * Fast growth of cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas but how long can they be sustained if water runs out ? * Schemes are very expensive to run and have cost the US government huge sums of money. Environmental * More varied and attractive scenery with reservoir lakes - attracts different wildlife. * Water provided for vegetation * Reduced dependence on fossil fuels which can pollute the environment. * Flood risk reduced. * So much water has been drawn from aquifers under Phoenix that the water table has fallen. Engineers are worried that technology may not be good enough to go any lower if water table is not filled naturally. ...read more.


June 1983 Sudden heatwave leads to rapid snowmelt. Thunderstorms bring very heavy rain - Parker flooded - much damage to marinas, resorts along the river. Engineers criticised for not keeping reservoir levels lower to hold the sudden melting snow. Their defence was not wanting to let out too much water in case of drier than average conditions. Engineers say that people who build settlements for profit along the river's course can hardly complain when a river flows where it's supposed to go. How is development creating longer term problems for groundwater storage ? Cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas are built in the desert. This whole process relies on water from two sources: 1. River water pumped from the Colorado system 2. Groundwater held in aquifers below ground. Modern technology has allowed engineers to drill deep below into aquifers. However, more water is being drawn out of the underground reservoirs than is being filled by rainwater infiltrating and river water soaking underground. This means for the cities to carry on growing technology has to go even deeper. Planners are now beginning to question how much more development can take place as future technology will have limits. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology essays

  1. Hydrology and Fluvial geomorphology. (Q&A)

    as discharge (the output of water into the sea or another river basin). Think of the system as a cascading system - like a series of champagne glasses piled up in a pyramid. As champagne is poured into the first glass it fills up and overflows into the next, and

  2. The Amazon River: Case Study

    Energy is needed to carry this sediment. But if the river has some spare energy, it can erode or wear away its bed, banks and other parts of the river. Most erosion normally occurs on the outside bend of a meander. This is because the water has further to travel.

  1. Investigating the river Caerfanell

    As answered in question 3, you can see that there is a positive correlation with channel shape and velocity, as the factors depend upon each other. Velocity depends upon channel shape to be able to increase as you move downstream as more water equals more energy.

  2. Three Gorges Dam

    gorges dam, these people include farmers, tourist workers, and people that live in the area that will be relocated by the project. The farmers are against the building of the three gorges dam because they have made a living out of their crops and the land that they own, when

  1. Does the river Alyn follow Bradshaw's model?

    6.4 1.08/ 6.4 = 0.169 360 metres 2.00 8.9 2.00/ 8.9 = 0.225 390 metres 1.85 6.5 1.85/ 6.5 = 0.284 420 metres 1.39 7.95 1.39/ 7.95 = 0.17 450 metres 0.74 10 0.74/10 = 0.074 Conclusion and Evaluation The aim of my investigation was to see if the river

  2. Do the Characteristics of a river change downstream?

    they don't give any real indication of what velocity the stream was flowing at. Method 5 - Measurement of the valley slope profile at the River Wharfe and Backstone Beck River Wharfe Apparatus * Abney level * Two ranging poles * Tape measure * Metre rule Method We began measuring the valley profile from where the water touched the beach.

  1. Investigation of the distribution and abundance off reshwater invertebrates in the Tillingbourne River at ...

    to state which of the predictions listed above was correct and which were incorrect. Before I continue I would like to add that some of the results may be incorrect, not because they were measured incorrectly or because the methods weren't followed correctly but because people may have expected things

  2. To what extent the flood alleviation scheme has had on the environment and people ...

    The method was to visit different site of the Swanage Flood Alleviation Scheme and fill in the same quality surveys for various aspects of the environment and then after compare them. We gave each aspect a positive or negative score.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work