Rivers and landscapes

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A river uses the material it has transported to erode its banks and river bed. As the velocity of the river increase the load that the river can carry also increases, this then increases the rate at which the river erodes. These are the main way in which river can erode:


This is when larger boulders and other materials which the river is carrying collide and break up into smaller pieces. This mainly occurs in the highland areas where the rivers are still flowing.

Hydraulic action

This when the force from the river dislodges particles from the river banks and bed, this wideners the river bed and the side of the river. The amount of hydraulic action increases as the river grows in size.


This process generally occurs in the lowland areas as the particles are small enough to rub against the sides of the banks of the river. These particles are carried by suspension. The river banks are worn away by a sand-paper action which can also be called abrasion. 

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This is when the acids in the river dissolve the rocks on the river bed, they are normally the weaker rocks such as limestone. This process can occur in any part of the rivers course.

Down cutting

This is a process that removes the material from the river bed and therefore deepening the channel of the river. The rate of down cutting depends on the rivers base level which is the lowest point that the steam can erode.

V-shaped valleys

The river creates a v-shaped valley which is caused ...

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