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River study - Burbage Brook,

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Introduction

Plateau The plateau is the source of Burbage Brook, which is a fairly large are of high flat land. This is formed by heavy rainfall soaking into the peat, which then filters into the brook. Upper Burbage Brook The upper area of Burbage Brook is a 'V-shape' with very steep sides. This is caused due to the steep gradient of the riverbed that then leads to a high velocity of the river causing rapid vertical erosion to take place (refer to the bar chart to explain the velocity of upper Burbage Bridge.) This combined with weathering creates a 'V-shape' valley. Deposition here is very minimal, as it is only the first flowing currents. The type of weathering that you are likely to find at this area of the valley is 'freeze-thaw weathering'. This is when water gets into the cracks in the rock, expands (freezes) which then puts pressure on the rock eventually causing chunks of the rock to break off leading to a form of mass movement (Rock Creep). ...read more.

Middle

Another cause to the 'V within a V' shape is due to the changes in rock type (look at the diagram below to show how the changes in rock type work). The rock changes from Millstone Grit to Shale. Millstone Grit is very resistant to weathering because it is a very hard rock but because of the joints and planes it tends to get a lot of freeze-thaw weathering occurring. Because this rock is very hard it is resistant to river action so it takes years for it to erode. Shale is a very soft rock formed from deposits of mud and silt compressed to form a rock. This rock is easily broke apart, wetting and drying causes the rock to expand and contract repeatedly and then eventually causes the rock to disintegrate. Also this rock is not very resistant to river action as it gets eroded (under-cut) very easily, which may often cause a landslide (look at the photo below of evidence of a landslide). ...read more.

Conclusion

This photograph shows how the lower course of Burbage valley has changed compared to the upper and middle courses. For example it is a lot wider as you can tell and also you can see the floodplain which has formed, also you can see the alluvium which has been left due to the slow velocity. Other Things Due to a lot of people using the valley for personal uses, for example walks, rock climbing etc, there has been some human activity taking place like footpath erosion. This is caused by a lot of people using the area and caused that particular area to erode. Some past conditions like greater freeze-thaw weathering caused in the 'ice age' when temperatures where below freezing for a long period of time causing a lot of freeze-thaw weathering to occur. This is where water gets into the cracks in the rock, expands (freezes) which then puts pressure on the rock eventually causing chunks of the rock to break off leading to a form of mass movement (Rock Creep). Burbage Valley Task C Keira McAleese ...read more.

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