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Presentation on theme: "Rivers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rivers


3 Common River Terms Source – The place where a river begins.
Course – The route the river takes to the sea Tributary – A small river that joins a larger river. Confluence – The point where the tributary joins the river.

4 Common River Terms Mouth – The point where the river enters the sea.
Estuary – The part of the mouth that is tidal. Basin – The area of land drained by a river. Watershed – The high ground separating one river basin from another.

5 The River’s Journey Rivers usually begin in the mountains.
They flow downhill onto flat land and into the sea.

6 The Shannon’s Journey The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river.
It flows from the Cuilcagh Mountains in Co. Leitrim to the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland.


8 The Stages of a River’s Journey
As the river flows from it’s source to the sea it goes through 3 stages. These are, The Upper or Youthful Stage The Middle or Mature Stage The Lower or Old Stage

9 The Youthful River The youthful river has a small amount of water but it travels very quickly down the steep mountain slope. Most of its energy is used to erode (wear away) the landscape. This erosion (wearing away) occurs in 4 ways.

10 4 Processes of River Erosion
Hydraulic Action – The force of the moving water wears away the banks and bed of the river. Abrasion – Small stones carried by the river wear away at the the banks and bed of the river.

11 4 Processes of River Erosion
Attrition – The small stones in the river are worn down and broken up as they hit off each other. Solution – Rocks and soil are dissolved by acids in the water.

12 Landforms of the Youthful Stage
All of the erosion by the river creates features or landforms on the landscape. Three features created in the youthful stage are, V-shaped Valleys Interlocking Spurs Waterfalls

13 V-Shaped Valleys V-shaped valleys get their name from their shape. The river erodes the landscape and creates a valley in the shape of a V. This occurs because of Vertical Erosion. The river cuts down into the river bed, making it deeper. It creates a narrow deep valley. Mechanical weathering and mass movement create the V shape. See Diagram.

14 V-Shaped Valleys

15 Interlocking Spurs As the rivers flows it meets areas of hard rock. It cannot erode these so it flows around them. This creates a zigzag course. See Diagram.


17 Waterfalls Waterfalls are formed when rivers flow over areas of hard and soft rock. The river erodes the soft rock but cannot erode the hard rock. This creates a step which the water starts to fall over. The falling water erodes deeper into the bed. The rivers load creates a Plunge Pool as it falls. See Diagram.


19 Waterfalls

20 The Mature Stage We now know that during the youthful stage the river is mainly eroding the landscape. Erosion breaks off particles of rock and soil from the bed and banks of the river. They are carried along by the river and are known as the Load. The load is carried from upland to lowland areas. This process is called River Transportation.

21 River Transportation All rivers carry material in them. This material is carried by the river as it flows along. Rivers can carry large stones, small stones, sand, and other dissolved minerals. All of this material in the river is called the river’s Load When the river moves its load we call this River Transportation

22 River Transportation Transportation occurs in 4 ways. 1. Rolling
2. Bouncing 3. Suspension 4. Solution

23 River Transportation Suspension Solution Bouncing Rolling

24 Rolling Rolling – The large stones are rolled along the bed of the river. Rolling

25 Bouncing Bouncing – The smaller pebbles are bounced
along the bed of the river. Bouncing

26 Suspension Suspension – Light material like sand and silt are
carried along (floating) in the water.

27 Solution 4. Solution – Dissolved materials are carried along by the river. Solution

28 Landforms of the Mature Stage
In the Mature Stage the river begins to slow down, and so it begins to deposit some of its load. It creates the following features. Wide river valley Meanders Flood plain

29 Landforms of the Mature Stage
Wider River Valley In the mature stage the river moves from side to side and the valley becomes wide and flat. Weathering and Mass Movement continue to wear away at the sides of the valley. See diagram.


31 Landforms of the Mature Stage
Meanders Meanders are bends or curves along the river. They are formed by erosion and deposition. Erosion occurs on one side of the river while deposition occurs on the opposite side. This continues, making the bends sharper. See diagrams.


33 Meanders

34 Landforms of the Mature Stage
Flood Plain A flood plain is the flat area of land on either side of the river. After heavy rain the river sometimes floods. The water spreads out over the land on either side of the river. When the river retreats it leaves behind a thin layer of alluvium. After many floods a thick layer of alluvium is created. This is very fertile soil.

35 The Old Stage In the Old Stage the river is carrying lots of sand and silt. It is now flowing over flat land and so it is moving slowly. Therefore it begins to drop off its load. This is called deposition. Like erosion in the Youthful Stage, deposition also creates many features or landforms.

36 Landforms of the Old Stage
The following features or landforms are created by river deposition in the Old Stage. Ox-Bow Lakes Levees Delta

37 Landforms of the Old Stage
Ox-Bow Lakes An ox-bow lake is a horseshoe shaped lake found beside a river. Ox-bow lakes are formed when continued erosion and deposition create very pronounced meanders. Eventually the river cuts through the neck of the meander. Deposition then occurs which leaves the ox-bow lake separated from the river.

38 How an Ox-Bow Lake is Made

39 Landforms of the Old Stage
Levees Levees are raised banks of deposited material found along the banks of the river. When the river floods and spreads out over the floodplain, the heaviest material is deposited close to the river. Over time and after many periods of flooding this deposited material forms levees along the banks of the river.

40 Levees – Raised Banks

41 Landforms of the Old Stage
Delta A Delta is a triangular shaped piece of land which is formed at the mouth of the river. As the river enters the sea it drops off all the remaining material it is carrying. This material builds up to form new land. The river is forced to break up into smaller channels called distributaries.


43 Rivers and People Rivers have always been important for
people. In the past, people settled near a river as it provided them with food, water, defence, and an easy method of transport. Nowadays, people try to control rivers to prevent flooding, for irrigation, to create electricity (HEP), and to create improved transport links. Rivers are also important for tourism and leisure.

44 Hydro-Electric Power (HEP)
Engineers build dams across the river. They can then control the flow of water in the river. They release the water and use it’s power to turn large turbines. Turning these turbines creates power which is used to generate electricity.


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