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River Investigation

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Introduction Aims 1. To find out how channel characteristics such as width, depth, area, efficiency, gradient and bedload change downstream? 2. To find out how flow characteristics, such as velocity and discharge change downstream? Having studied rivers to a great extent at GCSE and A level I have decided to carry out a study on river processes and characteristics. I have chosen the River Brett as the location for my study due to its large drainage basin and varying stream orders, enabling me to carry out a wide ranging investigation. The River Brett is a tributary off the river Stour in Suffolk. The river Brett's total length is 100 km. Hypotheses In this investigation I am going to prove the following Hypotheses: 1) All of the river dimensions will increase downstream e.g. width, depth, area and radius. 2) All of the flow characteristics will increase downstream such as velocity and discharge due to a wider and deeper river. 3) Bedload size and shape will decrease downstream. Background and Theory of river processes 1. ...read more.


This is the slowest and least effective erosion process. Depositional Processes Deposition is where the velocity of a river looses its energy and is no longer able to carry it's load Material is deposited, starting with the largest particals. Deposition occurs when: * Discharge is reduced following a period of low precipitation. * Velocity is lessened on entering the sea or a lake * shallower water occurs on the inside of a meander * the load is suddenly increased (caused by an increase in farming or a landslide) * the river over flows its banks so that the velocity outside the channel is reduced ; resulting in a floodplain. Transportation Processes This is where excess energy is used to transport material down the river. As the velocity and turbulence increases, so does the ability to entrain materials. The load is transported by three main processes. * Bedload- This is where larger particals, which cannot be picked up by the current, are transported along the river bed. they are inturn transported in two ways: Saltation, where pebbles, sand and gravel are temporarily lifted up by the current and bounced along the bed in a hopping motion and Traction where cobbles and boulders are rolled along the bed. ...read more.


* Temperature- Extremes of temperature can restrict infiltration and so increase surface runoff. If evapotranspiration rates are high then there will be less water available to flow to the main river. * Land use- Urbanisation- Has an increased flood risk due to water being unable to infiltrate through the tarmac or concrete. Farming- Over cultivation of the land surronding a river may mean that tyhe soil is more easily eroded causing a build up of silt in the river and an increased risk of flooding. The loss of vegetation may also mean a higher flood rate as water will flow more easily through the soil. . * Vegetation- Large amounts of vegetation inhabiting the river, its banks and bed effects its velocity and therefore the amount of erosion. * Relief- A higher relief will mean that materials will flow faster down the river. * Geology How rivers work Precipitation ( River Basin Characteristics ( River Channel Characteristics -Relief, Shape, vegetation - Depth, width, velocity, relief, land use, Geology and soils, efficiency ( ( River Flow ( Energy Equation = 1/2 mv � ( Erosion River Processes ( Deposition ( Transportation ( ( River Load River Features - Oxbow lakes - Deltas - - - - - ...read more.

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