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Whitewell Brook: To what extent does the discharge of the Whitewell Brook agree with theory?

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Introduction

Geography Coursework: Whitewell Brook: To what extent does the discharge of the Whitewell Brook agree with theory? Location of study area. Here is a detailed view of the drainage basin of the Whitewell Brook. The drainage basin is clearly marked with the thick red line. Describing the characteristics of the Whitewell Brook drainage system. The Whitewell Brook drainage system is in the Pennines. It is a very complex system that flows into the River Irwell and then on into the Manchester Ship canal and then into the river Mersey which meets the Irish Sea at the Mersey Estuary. The land near the source of the river is mainly moor land used by farmers as rough grazing for sheep. This is poor quality and course grass. The source of the Whitewell Brook is on bent hill, this is very flat considering it is on top of a hill. We call this a PLATEAU. The plateau is about 350m above sea level but the highest tops range from approximately 350m-430m above sea level. The Whitwell Brook is roughly 5 miles long. It is very narrow at the source (see figure 1.5) and takes up most of the valley floor. The side of the valley are V-shaped. Towards the end of the Whitewell Brook the channel gets wider and the river takes up less of the valley floor because it is a lot wider (see figure 1.6). ...read more.

Middle

We had to be careful when using our ruler because the water would pool up the face of our ruler due to the speed of the river and the surface area of the face of the ruler. The amount of pooling differed with the speed of the river. At site six, at one point, there was 6cm difference from measuring using the face of the ruler, which recorded a depth of 17cm, to using the side of the ruler, which recorded a depth of 11 cm. Our group decide to use the 'side on' measurement technique because we thought that there was little or no pooling up the ruler. SEE FIGURE 1.8 BELOW We then called out the depth measurements to the person who was adding the data to our data sheets. Ripples at site six also posed a problem for the measurer because of the fast flow of the river. This was more apparent at site six than any other site. Velocity We were measuring the velocity to put it into our formula to calculate the discharge of the Whitewell brook to see to what extent its discharge agrees with theory. The formula for velocity is, VELOCITY = Distance / Time. We had to decide on the distance of the measurement course for velocity. We were advised to use five metres so we did because it has worked in the past and if it were too long it would waste valuable time. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some sites were away from the trendline. This is because most water enters the Whitewell Brook via tributaries and it doesn't enter the river at the same rate all the way downstream. The distance vs. tributaries graph can show if there distribution of tributaries along the Whitewell Brook. The graph has positive correlation. The trendline lies close to most of the points, there are no big outliers but site 2,3,4 and 5 do not lie exactly on the trendline. The tributaries increase from 4 at site 1 up to 90 at site 6. The sites that were above the trendline would make a bigger than average increase in the discharge and the sites below the trendline would make a smaller than average increase to the discharge. To see the increase of discharge with tributaries we look at the tributaries vs. discharge graph. This graph again has positive correlation. The trendline matches the shape of the plotted slightly. The outliers are 3,4,5 and 6. these sites would not match the average because of the size or number of tributaries. The sites plotted above the trendline indicate that there would be big or lots of tributaries flowing into that site and the sites that have been plotted below the trendline indicate that these are small or not many tributaries flowing into this site. This change in number of tributaries and discharge is due to the differing catchment areas for each site. 1"To what extent does the discharge of the Whitwell Brook agree with theory?" John Purcell 10G ...read more.

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