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Stream Erosion & Deposition

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Presentation on theme: "Stream Erosion & Deposition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Stream Erosion & Deposition
Chapter 6 sections 1 and 2

2 What is a Stream? A stream is a moving body of water that eventually connects to an ocean Note: Today we will be discussing large streams called rivers!

3 River Characteristics
1. Velocity – how fast or slow the river is moving; this determines the rivers ability to erode sediments Which river has a greater velocity?

4 River Characteristics
2. Gradient – the slope or steepness of the river; the steeper the gradient, the more energy

5 River Characteristics
3. Discharge – the amount of water moving by a certain point of the river in a set time The Amazon River in South America has greatest discharge 212,400 m3/s Mississippi River in USA has 7th greatest discharge at 17,300 m3/s

6 River Characteristics
4. Stream Channel – the course that the water flows in a river

7 Following a River from Source to Mouth
A river begins at the source/headwaters This is usually where you find the steepest gradient You may also find V-shaped valleys here


9 Young Streams: -steep slope/gradient -high velocity
-down cutting erosion

10 Mature Streams flood plain develops lower slope/gradient
meanders (bends) form

11 OLD Streams -low slope/gradient -very wide channel and floodplain
-abundant meanders NIAGARA RIVER


13 Following a River from Source to Mouth
Alluvial fans – fan-shaped sediment deposit that forms when a high gradient stream leaves a narrow valley

14 Following a River from Source to Mouth
As the river continues, you will also find many tributaries – this is where one stream empties into another As more tributaries add water to the main river, the amount of discharge increases

15 Following a River from Source to Mouth
As the river moves downhill, it will erode its channel until it hits base level Base level is the lowest point to which a river can erode its channel

16 Following a River from Source to Mouth
As a river approaches base level, it can develop meanders – bends in the stream channel

17 Following a River from Source to Mouth
Delta - a fan-shaped sediment deposit where a river empties into an ocean at mouth

18 New Orleans: Built on Mississippi River Delta

19 Note: Meanders can turn into Oxbow lakes…here’s how

20 Sediment Transport in Rivers
Streams carry sediment in 3 ways: In solution (dissolved load) In suspension (suspended load) Scooting or rolling along bottom (bed load)

21 1. Dissolved Load Sediments that are dissolved into river water

22 2. Suspended Load Fine-grained sediment (like sand, silt, clay) that remains in the water during transportation Usually what you see that makes a river look dirty Most sediment carried by a stream is suspended This amount increases dramatically during flood

23 3. Bed Load Heavier, coarse grained sediments that travel along the bottom of a stream. Causes the most stream erosion! Sediment may not move frequently

24 Meander Velocity Fig. 10.6 Higher velocities on outside of meanders causes erosion (cut bank) Lower velocities on inside of meanders causes deposition (point bar)

25 Channel Shape and Roughness
A. Narrow and Deep Less resistance Faster flow B. Wide and Shallow More resistance Slower flow C. Rough Streambed

26 Stream Velocity Controls:
How much and what grainsize of sediment is Eroded and Transported Where and what grainsize size will be sediment

27 Drainage Patterns Geology controls stream patterns Uniformly Erodible
(e.g., flat-lying sedimentary rocks of the Midwest) Conical Mountains (e.g., Volcanoes) Fractured bedrock (shallow bedrock) Resistant ridges of tilted sedimentary rocks (e.g., Valley and Ridge Province of Pennsylvania) A. Dendritic B. Radial C. Rectangular D. Trellis

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