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I am going to study the characteristics of rivers and how they change as stream order changes. I will do this in Epping Forest to the North East of London.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

I am going to study the characteristics of rivers and how they change as stream order changes. I will do this in Epping Forest to the North East of London. My coursework is concentrated on the tributary of the River Roding called the Loughton Brook. I am interested in studying rivers because I have learnt about them in many of my subjects and I find it very easy to learn the characteristics about them as stream order changes. I visited Epping Forest on the 8th of March 2001. The forest has a length of 13 miles and a width of 3 miles; it is as large as 6000 acres. I was based at Epping Forest Conservation Centre at High Beach (see map). This is situated on the Pebble Gravels (see geological cross-section)-which are above the Bagshot Beds. These two layers are permeable which is why no rivers are found here as the water infiltrates the ground very easily. However, lower down the slopes, the geology changes to London Clay and this is impermeable. All three sites that I studied on were on the London Clay. The hypotheses I came up with for my coursework were: * As stream order, increases channel depth and width will increase: I expect this to occur as there will be a greater volume of water downstream as more tributaries join and also because the amount of erosion especially on the outside bends will increase. * As stream order, increases wetted perimeter will increase: I believe this will increase as the volume of water in the rivers channel will increase as more tributaries join. * As stream order, increases discharge will increase: Again, the river will increase in volume and in the force of its flow. * As stream order, increases velocity will increase: As the river cross-section increases and the discharge increases, I expect more free flowing water in the river (less friction because less water is in contact with the bed and the banks). ...read more.

Middle

The poles make it easy to measure the bank heights, the water depth and the water width. The poles also help to give the measurements of the right/left bank to water. Care should be taken that the poles are straight or the wrong measurements will be taken. When measuring either the water width, height of the banks or the water depth the tape measure should always be pulled properly and it shouldn't be loose. The ranging poles can also be used to measure the gradient of the river slope as shown on the "next page". Measuring the gradient is hard and care should be taken on how deep the ranging poles are kept in the ground. The poles should only be pushed into the ground until the red mark otherwise; the wrong gradient will be taken. The picture shown below shows how the float time of a cork in the river is taken. Measuring the float time of a cork is the hardest to do because the stopwatch has to be started exactly after the cork reaches point "A" and it should stopped exactly when the cork reaches point "B" and if the stopwatch isn't used properly the wrong results will be taken. The picture below shows how the wetted perimeter is taken. The measuring tape is kept across the riverbed at the bottom and the measuring tape has to be held onto place otherwise, the wrong measurements will be taken. The measuring tape can be held in place with the help of your foot; you press down on the tape with your foot and ensure that it doesn't move. Points A, B and C show where the foot is meant to be when measuring the wetted perimeter. The pebbles in stream order 2 are big with an average length of 5.75cm and they are very angular with an average roundness of 1.83. The roundness of the pebbles is measured from Cailleux's roundness index. ...read more.

Conclusion

Changes to the climate make it more likely that serious flooding will occur. This country saw some of the heaviest rain ever between October 2000 and January 2001, and Epping Forest District was particularly badly hit. There are three major flood alleviation schemes in the district at Thornwood, North Weald and Loughton. During previous periods of heavy rain, some flooding had occurred because rubbish had been dumped into the ditches of the schemes, blocking the culverts seriously and affecting their efficiency. DEVELOPMENT ON FLOOD PLAINS: Floodplains are a result of complex interaction of natural forces and processes that should be respected if flooding problems are to be avoided. Rivers drain groundwater and surface water run-off from developed and undeveloped land. River channels have a limited capacity and when this is exceeded, flooding of the adjoining land known as the floodplain occurs. Floodplains convey and store floodwater during such times, reducing the peak flood flow in the river. The effect of this is to reduce flood levels and the risk of flooding downstream. The effectiveness of rivers and floodplains to transport and to store floodwater, minimising flood risks, can be adversely affected by any development that physically changes the floodplain. People throw rubbish into the rivers and the rubbish blocks the flow of the river water causing it to flood. The Epping Forest flood was partly caused due to this. The flooding also eroded the banks of the river badly causing the tree roots to pop out and as a result, they weaken and cause the tree to fall. The picture on the next page shows this. The problems of garbage dumping have still not been solved and many people seem to be dumping the rubbish and when the rainy season starts the river would flood again, but care has been taken and many defences are built in some parts of the rivers. For example, some parts have gabions and they are made from wire cages with rocks in them. The rivers are also cleaned up now and then so the government has worked quite hard to prevent the flooding. ...read more.

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