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Stream/ River Transportation - Essay Example

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Stream/River Transportation Introduction One of the dominant agents of erosion is the rivers. Rivers have played an pivotal role in shaping the surface of the ground. This is because wherever it passes a river will collect and carry debris of weathered rock and take it to the oceans…
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, rivers represent a natural system. In addition, river is an open system whose water sources include underground water, melting snow, and ice, direct precipitation, and from other rivers that connect to the main river. This paper is a discussion of the processes of river transportation. Several river dynamics affect stream flow and hence the number of sediments carried. These include the river gradient, velocity, discharge, base level, and sediment load. Gradient is the slope of the stream channel and the steep the slope, the more the sediments in the flow. The velocity of water is proportional to the gradient of the river and determines the rivers volume. It is a critical control of river’s potential to erode, transport, and deposit sediments. There are two measures of sediment load: stream capacity and stream competence. According to Earth dynamic systems, Capacity of a stream is measured by the amount of the sediments it carries. The capacity of a stream increases to a third or a fourth power as speed increases. For instance, if the velocity of a stream doubles, its capacity can carry between three to nine times the normal sediment. The biggest particle in a river helps to determine a streams competence. It equally depends on the velocity of water (Earth dynamic systems web). The mainstream transportation processes include traction, saltation, solution, and suspension. Each of these depends on the type of rocks around the river channels. Traction is a river transportation system that involves dragging of large rocks and boulders. It requires the most energy because of the big size of particles (Beijing web). Traction occurs mainly after heavy rains when the river cannot carry the rainwater in its bends causing water to flood in the nearby lands. Here, the force of water moves large blocks of wood inland breaks bridges and carries them to a further distance until the energy is less. It often occurs in areas prone to floods. Saltation is a process by which rivers and streams carry sand sized particles bouncing along the riverbed in a “leap frog” motion. The large blocks in traction and saltation do not go far because of their weight. As the river’s power drops, these particles also happen to the bottom of the rivers forming its core. The bedrock can move again on an increase of velocity. In addition, suspended particles of sand and gravel erode the bedrock through corrosion causing wearing away of sides and the bottom of the river. According to Earth dynamic systems, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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