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Can the Chalk Streams of the Chilterns be managed Sustainably?

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Introduction

GCSE Geography - Year 11 Coursework Kayleigh Heathcote Can the Chalk Streams of the Chilterns be managed Sustainably? The aim of this assignment is to investigate the above, 'can the chalk streams of the Chilterns be managed sustainably?'. We visited three sites of the River Chess shown on the map overleaf, site 1, Chesham Moor, OS grid reference 97,20. Site 2, Latimer Park, OS grid reference 99,98. Site 3, Sarratt Bottom, OS grid reference 03,98. Site 1 is 1km from the source, site 2 is 4.5km from the source and site 3 is 8.3km from the source, it flows through both rural and urban areas. The River Chess is 17.9km long in total and is one of the two major tributaries to the River Colne, which drains a large part of the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Chess is a fast flowing river which flows from it's source at Chesham to join the Colne at Rickmansworth. It has two tributaries, the Chalk Stream and the Bourne Gutter. The River Chess derives it's flows mainly from the springs rising from the chalk aquifer. Chalk is a particularly porous rock and acts as a 'sponge'. As rain falls it percolates into the chalk. Where the chalk sits on an impervious layer of rock the water is trapped in the chalk itself. ...read more.

Middle

The whole team did their own bit into collecting the measurements, when we got to each site, one would get in the river and another would be taking down the measurements and another to time for the float time. While another member of the team was doing the environmental assessment, we then did our field sketches. Two different people would be in the river each time, so everyone got the chance to do their bit. I am now going to talk about each of my graphs and explain what they show and why. Graph 1, River Width shows that Sarratt Bottom is the widest, we would expect this because as we said before, the closer you get closer to the mouth of a river it gets wider and deeper. It also shows that Latimer Park is the thinnest, this is because at this point in the river, the river splits in two, it isn't just a miscalculation. Graph 2, Average Depth shows that Latimer Park is the deepest, here we would expect for Sarratt Bottom to be the deepest, for the same reason as above, as you get closer to the mouth the deeper and wider the river gets, but this maybe because the river is still flowing quite fast, the water is forcing a path downwards instead of outwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bt at point B, the water table is below the ground due to the effects of pumping up the groundwater. Here the stream stops flowing. Beyond the cone of depression, at point C, the water table is at surface level again and the river starts flowing again. Abstracting water from an aquifer is an important source of our drinking water. But in some cases this can cause problems for our rivers, especially chalk streams. At the end of this assessment I have proved my hypotheses correct, we have found out that rivers are more affected in urban areas because of people and we have found out that chalk streams change downstream, due to the speed of the flowing water. I think if we want to conserve our rivers we should act now, start protecting them from human influence. I have really enjoyed doing this work, going out and getting the evidence ourselves instead of being handed the information and not being able to make head nor tale of it. I don't think there would be anyway of improving my work if I did it again, but maybe getting some background information before going to the rivers. I think I spent enough time writing up my report, if we had more time, I think we would just get more chance to ramble on and we would have nothing to do in the last few days. ...read more.

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