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The Changes in Loughton Brook as it Moves Downstream

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Geography Coursework The Changes in Loughton Brook as it Moves Downstream My general aim for this enquiry is to investigate the processes and changes of Loughton Brook as it moves downstream. In order to do this I have chosen three theories to investigate. To conduct my research I visited Loughton Brook in Epping Forest. Epping Forest lies to the north-east of London. It forms a large crescent of land stretching from Wanstead in the south to Epping in the north. The main part of the 19km forest lies on a high ridge of land (a watershed) between the valleys of the River Lea to the west and the River Roding to the east. On top of the ridge are patches of pebble gravel overlying bagshot beds which consist mainly of sand and clay, and at the bottom of the ridge is London clay. The top two layers are essentially free draining while the lower layers are relatively impermeable. ...read more.


The lowest point is at 17m and it is where Loughton Brook forms a confluence with the River Roding. The drainage basin of Loughton Brook is 5.6km2 in total. This consists of 2.2km2 of urban catchment and 3.4km2 of forest catchment. The geology of the complete area consists of alluvium, glacial gravel, pebble gravel, bagshot beds, claygate beds and London clay. The map below demonstrates this more clearly. My first hypothesis is that the width, depth, and velocity of the river will increase as it moves downstream. I think this will happen because river discharge usually increases downstream due to the drainage basin becoming bigger, and therefore the volume of water reaching the channel via tributaries, surface flow, through flow, and groundwater flow increasing. I think that the velocity will increase downstream due to the decrease in number of pebbles and rocks. As the pebbles decrease in number and size, friction also decreases. This means that the river has more energy to flow. ...read more.


A flood occurs when the water in a river overflows out of its banks and leaves the channel. Deposition is often a major factor of flooding. This occurs when a river lacks enough energy to carry its load. Deposition, beginning with the heaviest material first, can occur following a dry spell when the discharge and velocity of the river drop, or where the current slows down. However, flooding can also occur during a wet period when there is simply too much water in the channel. This aspect of my project is related to both physical and human geography as I have also researched the affect of flooding on the local people's homes and businesses. To observe the changes of the river as it moves downstream, I visited three sites along Loughton Brook. The first site was up stream, the second mid stream and the third down stream. I also visited a fourth site which has been artificially straightened to transport the water into the local town. At the first three sites I measured exactly the same things so that I could easily compare them and note the differences that occur as the river travels along its course. 1 ...read more.

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