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To investigate changes in bed load and discharge along the course of the river Shimna.

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Introduction

A fieldwork investigation into changes in bed load and discharge from source to mouth in the river Shimna. Aim: To investigate changes in bed load and discharge along the course of the river Shimna. I expect that as you move from the source to the mouth the discharge of the river will increase. This is possibly due to tributaries coming together and the river channel becoming wider. Also as I move downstream I will expect the rivers bed load to decrease in size and to become more rounded due to erosion processes such as attrition . Through my investigation I will either be able to prove or disprove the following hypothesis; Hypothesis 1- the size and shape of river bed load will change from source to mouth, becoming smaller and more rounded due to the process of erosion. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore a number of pupils would be equipped with a mobile phone, with which they could alert the emergency services quickly. We planned to stay in groups and for everyone to look out for each other. To enable the fieldwork investigation to be carried out accurately and efficiently suitable equipment would be needed. When investigating the bed load, callipers would be needed to accurately measure the stones dimensions. In addition to this a stone classification sheet and record sheet would be required. For the discharge investigation a bray stroke meter, metre sticks, tapes, waders with a safety rope and once again a record sheet would be needed. Before embarking on the trip the type of sampling, which would be most effective in achieving each objective, had to be decided upon. Pragmatic sampling would be used to choose suitable sites for the bed load investigation. ...read more.

Conclusion

A person waded out into the centre of the channel and measured the depth at 1-metre intervals using a bray stroke meter, which enabled us to calculate the speed of the river in m/s. These values were recorded over a 10 second period until the full width of the river was noted. Measurements started and finished at the rivers edge. Discharge was then calculated by multiplying velocity by area. The stones used random sampling, as it would have been too dangerous to venture into some parts of the river. The stones were selected at random and handed to a person who measured its A and B axis using a calliper. The group also had to judge the stones shape using the stone classification sheet, which ranged from very angular to well rounded. These results were then recorded allowing us to prove or disprove our original hypothesis. We carefully kept to our plan, which enabled us to get the most accurate results possible on the day. Bronagh Smyth 13A ...read more.

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