• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent can fluvial landfoms be classified s upper,lower or middle course

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent can fluvial landforms be classified as belonging to the upper, middle or lower course of a river? A logical, clear way to classify fluvial landforms is according to the one location where they can be found, but some of these belong to more than one river section. As the river advances, its characteristics and surroundings change and therefore, fluvial landforms are common at only specific river sections. However, some landforms can be found in both the middle and lower courses of a river, product of similar river features found in the different stages of its profile and therefore can be classified in more than one category. The upper course holds unique characteristics which affect the type of fluvial landforms that take place exclusively in this portion of the river profile, showing the cross section of a river from its source to its mouth. The source or beginning of a river is usually a melting glacier or a lake in a mountainous area. It is because of this that the slope or gradient of a river at this stage is rather steep, making water flow downwards at an angle and erosion to be mostly vertical. ...read more.

Middle

As time passes, the less resistant rock will be eroded, creating an overhang or platform which will eventually collapse. These fallen, loose rocks will erode the bottom, due to abrasion, creating a plunge pool and break away by colliding between each other thanks to an erosional process names called attrition. As time passes, the waterfall will retreat upstream and become more prominent. The following diagram illustrates this process in more detail: Likewise, the lower course of a river maintains special conditions that enable particular fluvial landforms to take place. A mature river is the result of many tributaries, resulting in an increase of both discharge and sediment. The cross sectional area of the river is therefore commonly wide, broad and rather shallow. The river gradient is no longer steep and most of the erosion is lateral. The bedload is conformed of smooth, round pebbles so there is less friction is to be overcomed, resulting in a higher velocity and a partially laminar flow. Due to its relatively high discharge it has a higher propensity to overflow and floodplains form at the sides of the river bank. ...read more.

Conclusion

The most common of fluvial landforms, which takes place in both the lower and middle course, are meanders. A meander is a curve in the river channel, where the cross sectional area is asymmetrical. For this landform to take place a floodplain is essential and such is found in the middle and lower sections of a river. This bend enables the fastest flow in the outside of the bend to erode the river bank, creating a cliff. Conversely, the slowest current flows in the inside of the bend and it is deposited, creating a point bar. Over time, processes of erosion and depositions increase the sinuosity of the channel. This is clearly illustrated in the following diagram: Fluvial landforms can be effectively classified according to the section where they are found in a river profile. This is because particular circumstances enable fluvial landforms to take place in the different sections and thus they are more commonly, if not exclusively found there. However, it is important to recognize that some sections share similar characteristics and therefore some landforms can take place in more than one river course. Marielle Alvino ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Geography River Rother

    And because Rye is such a large river we are unable to carry out our tests on it because we don't have the resources so we have to get all the results from a secondary source, which could be either out of date or a bad estimate.

  2. Cliff erosion in East Sussex - the processes, problems and solutions.

    4.52 The SMP subdivides the area into 'management units' which correspond with features such as urban boundaries or rivers. The defence options available to this District are 'hold the line', which implies continued maintenance of protection, or 'do nothing', i.e., let nature take its course.

  1. The research I have carried out to test if the statement Stretches of a ...

    These included the rocks that were in the river which would affect the river velocity. One theory which states that rivers change from source to mouth is Bradshaw's theory, which visually details the changes that occur downstream along the course of a river.

  2. To what extent should Walton-on-the-naze be protected from the sea?

    Landscape: So what is the landscape like in Walton? Well there is a small town, and a lot of farming space which is used for agriculture. Walton in general is pretty flat and very close down to sea level. As you get further away from the sea the contour changes

  1. Should the coast between Overstrand and Sheringham be protected at any cost, or should ...

    Field Sketches We went to four different beaches to look at its sea defences. For each different beach we went to we conducted a field sketch of the beach and its defences. How to collect data? We collected the data by drawing field sketches of each individual beach and its sea defences.

  2. To what extent Rothbury fits a model of tourist honeypot

    It is relevant to the question as we can judge wether Rothbury is a tourist honeypot or not because we can count the number of cars going either way and number pedestrians roaming around in the rothbury. There were quite a lot limitations during the traffic and pedestrian count.

  1. Geography - Ivestigation of the River Colne, Buckinghamshire

    It was important for me to attain measurements of the river's width and depth in order to work out the river's cross-sectional area, and then, with its velocity, the river's volume of flow. I needed this data in order to prove or disprove hypothesis two, that as the river flows downstream it will get wider and deeper.

  2. To what extent is the River Roding a flooding threat to the area in ...

    Chigwell Lane near Debden Station and adjacent to the M11 Motorway and Debden Sports Club. Buckhurst Hill: Grid Reference: 423 932 The bridge at Buckhurst Hill crosses the river Roding between Roding Valley Station and Chigwell Station. It runs next to some recreation ground and a public footpath.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work