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Streams Notes

by: Madeline Wilson

Streams Notes GEOL 101 001

Madeline Wilson

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About this Document

/notes from the lecture 4/7/16
Introduction to the Earth
Dr. Knapp
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madeline Wilson on Thursday April 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEOL 101 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Knapp in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Introduction to the Earth in Geology at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 04/07/16
The process by which surface water becomes groundwater is called infiltration. Suspended load includes all material temporarily or permanently suspended in the flow. Streams and Rivers  Stream o Any flowing body of water, large or small o The most important erosional force on earth  River o Major branch of a large stream system  Stream flow is related to the interaction of plate tectonics and climate systems Laminar flow – streamlines flow parallel without turbulent mixing Turbulent flow – streamlines cross causing turbulent mixing (fast-moving waters) Whether stream flow is laminar or turbulent depends on:  Velocity (rate of movement)  Geometry (primarily depth)  Viscosity (measure of resistance to flow) Laminar flow almost never exists in surface water flows Bed load is the coarse grained material the stream carries along the bed by sliding and rolling Measures of a Stream’s Ability to Transport Sediment Include:  Competence: a measure of the maximum size particle a stream can support  Capacity: a measure of the total volume of sediment (sediment load) a stream can transport  The larger the volume of a flow, the more suspended load and bedload it can carry  Sand particles are the most easily eroded from the bed of a stream Ripples: low velocity bedforms Dunes: higher velocity bedforms Landscape of Stream Erosion  Valleys – creates as the streams erode the earth’s surface; v shape  Channels – sit at the bottom of the valley, and are the troughs through which the water funs  Floodplain is the flat area at about the level of the channel. This is the part of the valley that is flooded when the river spills over its banks Channel Patterns on Floodplains  Straight stretches  Meandering streams: o Have a single channel with a sinuous pattern o Are the most common pattern  Braided streams o Have an interlacing network of channels o Are relatively uncommon Meandering River in Alaska  Channels follow curves and bends called meanders  Meanders usually form on streams that flow on low slopes or low-lands, where channels typically cut through unconsolidated sediments  At a bend in a river, erosion occurs on the outside of the bend and deposition occurs on the inside of the bend Braided River in Alaska  Braided streams are those where the main channel splits into an interlacing network of channels, which then rejoin  Highly variable water discharge  Large sediment load  Easily erodible banks Discharge is a measure of the size of a stream’s flow, volume of water that passes through a plane per unit of time as it flows in a channel of a certain width and depth Recurrence Interval of Floods  The recurrence interval (RI) of an event is the average number of years between events of similar or greater magnitude  Thus, a 100 year flood is one which occurs on average once every 100 years  Depends on o Climate o Width of the floodplain o Size of the channel Longitudinal Profile  Base level – the elevation at which a stream ends by entering a large standing body of water, such as a lake or ocean  All streams show the same general concave-upward profile from notably steeper near a stream’s head, to low, almost level, near its mouth Drainage Networks  Dendritic – branches similar to the limbs of a tree  Rectangular – strongly jointed rocky terrain, tends to follow joint pattern  Trellis – develops in valley and ridge terrain, where rocks of varying resistance to erosion are folded into anticlines and synclines  Radial – develop on a single large peak, such as a large dormant volcano


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