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Water on the Land


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Discharge
Amount of water in a river at any one time
Flood Plain
Flat land built of silt on the sides of a river, usually in its lower course
Flooding
Water covering land that is normally dry after a river bursts its banks
Gorge
Steep, narrow valley, with rocky sides
Hard Engineering Strategies
Strong construction methods to hold floodwaters back
Levee
Raised bank along the sides of a river, made of silt from river floods
Meander
Bend in a river, usually along its middle or lower course
Ox-Bow Lake
Semi-circular lake on the flood plain of a river, a cut off meander
Soft Engineering Strategies
More natural ways to reduce the impact of flooding on humans, with less intervention and more preparation
Tributary
Small river or stream that flows into the main river
Confluence
The point where a tributary meets the main river
Traction
Rolling stones along the river bed
Saltation
Sand-sized particles bounce along the river bed in a 'leap frog' movement
Suspension
Silt and clay sized particles are carried by the water flow
Solution
Minerals dissolve in water and carried by flow
Hydraulic Action
The force of the water on the bed and banks removes material
Abrasion
Rocks carrried by the river wear down the river bed and banks
Attrition
The load being carried by the river collides and rubs against itself breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces
Corrosion
Rock minerals, e.g. Calcium Carbonate, dissolve in the river water which is sometimes slightly acidic
Storm Hydrographs
Show the change in discharge caused by a period of rainfall
Lag time
Time difference between peak rainfall and peak discharge