Water Cycle and Rivers

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  • Water Cycle and Rivers
    • Water Cycle
      • The water or hydrological cycle is a natural system where water is in constant movement above, on or below the surface of the earth.
      • Evaporation - Water is transformed into water vapour.
        • Transpiration - Water vapour is lost from vegetation.
          • Precipitation - Water Vapour condenses into drizzle, rain, snow, sleet and hail.
            • Through flow - Water moves downhill through the soil.
              • Percolation - Water moves slowly from the soil and into the rock.
                • Infiltration - Water soaks (filters) into the soil.
                  • Groundwater flow - Water moves slowly through the soil and rocks back into the sea.
                    • Surface runoff/ overland flow - Water moves across the surface of the earth, becoming a stream, tributary or river.
        • Surface runoff/ overland flow - Water moves across the surface of the earth, becoming a stream, tributary or river.
      • Inputs - are when water is introduced or put into the system .e.g. Precipitation.
    • Drainage Basin
      • Source - Where drops of water join to start a river.
        • Confluence - Where two rivers meet and join.
          • Watershed - The dividing line between one drainage basin and another.
            • River Channel - The main body of water flowing downhill.
              • Mouth - The place where the river flows into the sea.
                • Tributary - A small river or stream.
    • Long Profile
      • Long Profile - This is the side view of the river.
      • Velocity - The speed of water.
      • Bedload size - The material carried by the river. Also called Load.
      • Bedload shape - Angular rocks on the upper course.
      • Upper course:
        • Width = narrow
          • Depth = shallow
            • Velocity = slow (because the water hits against the rocks)
              • Bedload size/shape = Big/Angular
      • S = D/T
    • Websites to help:
      • Bitesize
      • S-Cool
      • Science Kids
      • S-Cool - Long Profile
    • The Dynamic Landscape
      • Dynamic - means constantly changing e.g. valleys, coasts and deserts.
    • Permeable - means that it's possible for water to soak through e.g. soil.
      • Impermeable - means that it's impossible for water to soak through e.g. concrete.
    • River processes
      • Erosion - involves in the wearing away of rock and soil.
      • Attrition - rocks being carried along by the river smash together and break into smaller, smoother and rounder particles.
      • Abrasion - rocks carried along by the river wear down the river bed and banks.
      • Hydraulic action - the force of the river against the banks can cause air to be trapped in cracks and crevices.
  • Suspension - fine light material is carried along in the water.
    • Saltation - small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.
      • Traction - large boulders and rocks are rolled along the river bed.
    • Transport - Rivers pick up and carry material as they flow downstream.


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