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Small Water Catchment - Essay Example

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Hence it is the area of land from which the surface water flow is drained by a receiving water body. In a natural catchment, rain or snow that falls on land will find a way to a lowest point in that area which may be a lake, dam or sea through large and small creeks, streams, tributaries and rivers…
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Small Water Catchment
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Small Water Catchment

Download file to see previous pages... Other terms used interchangeably are watershed, drainage basin, water basin and drainage area.
They are important in hydrology (study of water).In the hydrological cycle, movement of water is studied by focusing on catchment. Rain gauge data is used to measure the precipitation or rain over an area. Stream gauge located at the outlet of the catchment is used to measure the water discharge from the catchment.
It is important in ecology. Flowing water picks up sediments, nutrients and pollutants. Minerals and artificial fertilizers are added by man and these are deposited near the mouth of the catchment. Hence, the natural mineral balance is disturbed.
River Itchen: The land drained by the river consists of a gravelly loam in the upper chalk. There are many water channels that drain the grasslands near the river. At Itchen Abbas the water level is higher than the surrounding marshes. The numerous channels make is very difficult to carry out any survey here.
Shape: Water from a circular catchment reaches the river faster than the long, thin catchment. The landscape of the area was shaped by stream erosion when the ground was frozen, causing rainfall to run over the surface rather than soaking into the chalk.
Rainfall on the sandy soil is absorbed by the ground and only a part of it reaches the river. ...
It enters the tidal estuary at Woodmill where it joins the Monks Brook.
It joins the River Test at 'Dock Head' to become Southampton Water.
The world's premier chalk stream - River Itchen
Total length - 28 miles (45 kms)
Catchment area - 400 sq.kms.
The size of the catchment does not really matter. For eg. : The size of the camel catchment is 210 sq.kms. but there was extensive damage of life and property in this catastrophic flood.

Factors that affect catchment:
They can be divided into two categories:
1. The time taken for rainwater to reach the river. This is dependent on two factors.
Topography: In the steep mountain areas, water will reach the river faster than in the lesser sloping areas.
River Itchen: The land drained by the river consists of a gravelly loam in the upper chalk. There are many water channels that drain the grasslands near the river. At Itchen Abbas the water level is higher than the surrounding marshes. The numerous channels make is very difficult to carry out any survey here.
Shape: Water from a circular catchment reaches the river faster than the long, thin catchment. The landscape of the area was shaped by stream erosion when the ground was frozen, causing rainfall to run over the surface rather than soaking into the chalk.
2. Amount of water that reaches the river. This is dependent on three factors.
Size: If the catchment is larger, the potential for flooding is also high.
Type of soil: Rainfall on the clayey soil is not absorbed. So it runs off and there is greater chance for flooding.
Rainfall on the sandy soil is absorbed by the ground and only a part of it reaches the river. This is worsened only when there is continuous rainfall and the soil becomes saturated. As far as river Itchen's is concerned, its rocks slope ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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