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How a river changes from source to mouth

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Introduction

How a River changes from source to mouth The Long Profile The long river profile is the changes in gradient at different stages in a river's flow. In the Upper Course the flow is fast and load and water volume are slow. In the Middle Course the river starts to slow and volume increases when tributaries join the river. The river erodes at this stage and the load increases. In the Lower Course, the river slows down dramatically due the gradient being almost flat. The river deposits its load due to the lack of power and speed. The volume is the largest on the river's course. This part of a river is liable to flood. Upper course The upper course is usually found in the mountains and hills where the river rises from its source. Waterfalls and rapids are also sometimes found in this course. Water falls are caused when a river runs over alternating layers of hard and soft rock. The river in the upper course is usually fast flowing. There are lots of obstacles, stones and boulders for the water to flow over. ...read more.

Middle

On the inside of the bend the flow is a lot slower and because of lack of energy, the river is depositing. At the bend of a river the river's flow is concentrated on the eroding the bank, creating a landform known as a river cliff. On the inside, the deposition due to lack of energy creates a landform called a slip off slope. The river is therefore eroding laterally. This creates a large floodplain in the river valley. And as the lateral erosion is able to remove the Interlocking Spurs truncated spurs are found here. Ox bow lakes Ox-Bow lakes are created by two River Cliffs are eroding towards each other. Ultimately, this will break and the water will flow along the straightened/faster course. In the river bend, the water stops flowing, and this loss of energy means the river deposits its load - this creates plugs at both ends of the meander and creates a lake. 2 - Ox-Bow Lakes (2) (Aerial View) Lower Course At the lower course of the river, the river has a high volume and a large discharge. ...read more.

Conclusion

Deltas Deltas are found at the mouth of large rivers. A delta is formed due to the river depositing its material faster than the sea can remove it. This is because the sea doesn't flow so the river stops flowing and loses its energy and can't carry its load. So the load is deposited on the sea bed, this builds up to form a new piece of land in the river mouth. Because of this the river then has to divert its flow into smaller distributaries to reach the sea again. Once this has happened more load is deposited and this builds the new delta out into the sea, so the process repeats its self. There are main types of delta, named after the shape they create: * Arcuate - the land around the river mouth arches out into the sea, the river splits many times on the way to the sea, creating a fan effect. * Cuspate - the land around the mouth of the river juts out arrow-like into the sea. * Bird's foot - the river splits on the way to the sea, each part of the river juts out into the sea, rather like a bird's foot. ...read more.

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