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The River Landscape.

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Introduction

Hayley Pearcy. 11Gio GEOGRAPHY COURSEWORK: THE RIVER LANDSCAPE. Question 3. I have identified a meander as the first feature of my sketch. There are many meanders shown along the part of the river shown in this photo. I am describing the one that comes first as the river enters the page at the forefront of the picture. Here the river flows what looks to be straight and then it turns back on itself to form the beginning of another meander. On one side of the meander there is a break of slope, a river cliff. It is quite large and the soil exposed is fairly sandy (milstone grit) and contains fragments of white rock that could be limestone. This soil has clearly been slipping down, as at the base of the cliff there are fragments of this rock littering the side of the river some of these rocks may have been deposited from further upstream. The sandy soil will probably have been carried away by the flow of the river. On the opposite side of the meander there is an area of flat land. This is the slip-off slope of the meander. Unlike the river cliff side, the slip off slope side is covered in grassy vegetation. The thickness of this vegetation increases, as it gets closer to the river. ...read more.

Middle

As the river flows downstream is begins to meander. These meanders form their own landforms along the river. Above is a cross-section of a meander. It shows that on the outside of the bend there is a river cliff and on the inside there is a slip off slope. Varying energies of currents forms these. As the water is flowing straight and it can't tell when a meander may come up, it just carries on flowing straight. This results in the water hitting the outside of the bank with a force, it then bounces back off the bank and carries on at a different angle as show in the picture below. This means that on the outside of the bend, the force is strong. It has enough energy to transport larger materials and also enough energy to erode the bank through hydraulic action and corrasion/abrasion. On the inside of the bend however, the energy of the river is low, therefore not many materials can be transported so they are deposited causing a bank to build up (slip off slope). Over time, the force of the water on the outside of the bend can wear away the rock so much that it undercuts the bank. This can eventually lead to the overhanging section of bank to collapse and then be transported away by the river. ...read more.

Conclusion

The valley in the picture is of an irregular shape, some of the valley has been eroded further back than the rest and the slopes occur at different degree angles. This shows that erosion has taken place at different rates on different parts of the slope. This could be due to a change in rock type or force of the river as it gradually erodes down. There is also evidence of human influences on the land as there is a dry-stone wall built from the top left of the photo to the river. There is also a small bridge in the distance of the river for crossing purposes. The dry-stone wall suggests that at some point in time people will have taken some of the limestone rock from the nearby land to build it thus changing the landscape. The small bridge seems to have been built of the same material. The wall looks to be collapsing now an already some of the rubble seems to be reaching the river to be transported. There is a clear depression in the ground where the wall lies. I believe this to be where rainwater has run down alongside the wall as run-off and throughflow and gradually eroded down as it carried away material off the land down into the river. All of these processes have worked together to shape the land to what it is now in this picture. ...read more.

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