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rivers coursework

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Contents Page 1: Aim Hydrological Cycle Page 3: Coppicing Pollarding Page 4: Hypothesis Location Page 5: Geology Epping Forest Page 5-8: Maps Page 9-12: Method Measuring the Width of the River Measuring the Depth of the River Measuring the Velocity of the River Measuring the River Channel Gradient Measuring the Pebble Size Equipment List Page 13-18: Data Presentation Water Width Water Depth Float Times of Cork Gradient of River Measuring the "Long Axis" Length of 10 Pebbles Page 18-20: Conclusion Evaluation Bibliography Pictures of our trip to Loughton Brook: Page 20 and over How does a river (Loughton brook) change with distance downstream? Aim: To investigate how a river (Loughton brook) changes with distance as you go downstream. Hydrological Cycle: � Sea water is heated by the sun which evaporates it and produces water vapour. � Then there are cloud formation and sea breezes blow clouds inland. � Clouds cool when rising over high mountains and lands. � Then the clouds condense and rainfall, hail or snow can occur. These are things that happen when precipitation falls on land, these can affect a river and how its volume can change because of rainfall on land. � Water will fall to the ground as rainfall and will store as ice or go into lakes. � Water collects to flow downstream. � Water will flow on the land (surface runoff) particularly if it's impermeable soil or rocks. � Water will penetrate into the soil if it is permeable; it will either get stored in rocks or will flow through the ground into the sea. � Rain will seep into permeable soil or rocks and will store up there. This is a build up of groundwater. � This will then flow through underlying rocks in the soil, and continue its journey until it reaches the sea. These processes can reduce stream water volumes; as a result it can reduce erosion rates as well. ...read more.


To measure the depth of the river we had to place a ruler of size 1m/30 cm vertically so it touches the river bed and record the point where it touches the surface of the water. We had to do this in the middle of the river, the left hand side and the right hand side; also we did this for all 3 sites. LHS M RHS Measuring the Velocity of the river This was done because it tells us how fast the flow of the river was at each site, to do this we used a cork in order to see how fast it flowed given a specific distance i.e. 1 metre in length. To measure the time taken for the cork to flow this distance we had to drop it about 20cm at the start of the 1 metre ruler on the water surface. We started the stopwatch as soon as the cork was just beside the 1 metre ruler at the beginning of it. Finally we stopped the watch when the cork had finished its distance of the 1 metre ruler, we repeated it three times each, for each site. Stopwatch Cork 1m Ruler Measuring the river Gradient At each site we found out the angle at which the flowed downstream by finding out the river channel Gradient. To measure the Gradient we had to have two people hold the ranging poles opposite each other in a vertical position. While you are doing this place the Clinometer beside the alternating colours on the ranging poles and look through the Clinometer to your partner's pole. Finally you record the angle given by the Clinometer. Clinometer Distance around 2-3 meters Measuring the pebble size This was used to find out if the pebbles were being damaged as we went downstream due to attrition. We had to measure the long axis of the pebble to see if this was true To measure the length of the pebble we measured from one edge of the long side to the opposite side giving us an accurate length. ...read more.


Transportation by traction causes attrition, whilst saltation further decreased pebble sizes. Conclusion * Water width and depth increase downstream - more erosion through increased water volumes. * Velocity increases downstream due to greater energy levels of higher volumes. * Gradient decreases due to slower rate of depth increase downstream. * Long axis of pebbles decrease downstream, eroded in transportational processes. Evaluation: Strengths of Method: - Can take measure on water width however wide - Read off value on ruler - Easily recognisable when doing the experiments - Easy to perform methods - Cork does not sink - Can vary the distance for float time of cork - Clinometer easy to use in order to look exactly opposite at partner's Clinometer - Easy to keep ranging poles upright while taking the gradient - Can choose number of pebbles selected Weaknesses of Method: - Tape measure inaccurate for measuring banks of river - When measuring at meanders or sinuous parts of rivers, results inaccurate - River bed may not have been flat and so it may have given a inaccurate result for the river depth. - Clinometer may move when finding out the gradient because it is difficult to make the ranging poles stay in one position and so it may have moved when measuring the gradients - Cannot take exact measurement of pebble as the surface is curved, so the results are not entirely accurate. Improvements: * Collecting 2/3 of each water width and depth measurement, rather than 1, would have removed anomalies, ensured accurate results. * Velocity results could have been performed over longer distances to guarantee more accuracy. * Using a tripod and Clinometer would have removed problems with instability of hand in measuring gradients of each site. * Using callipers would provide increased accuracy in distance measurements. * Each experiment met investigation aims and gave fairly accurate results. Conclusions could be wrong in that Loughton Brook is small, therefore changes in rivers features are less apparent, the cause of slightly inaccurate results. * Experiments were performed well overall, excluding pebble long axis measurements. ...read more.

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