Landforms Notes 3 - Ch 16 What is a fluvial system...

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Ch 16What is a fluvial system?Comprised all bodies of flowing water on Earth’s surface- streams, rivers, creeks, brooks, etc.oStream?General term for flowing water, not related to sizeoRiver?Applied to trunk or main streamImportance of Streams on EarthPart of hydrologic cycleMost powerful geomorphic agentSource of freshwater for human useProvide transportation networkRedistribute mineral nutrients from sediments on Earth’s surface (Alluvium)Reservoir for waste disposalCooling for industriesRecreationShape the landscape through erosion or depositionTypes and Origin of streamsPerennial Streams- water runs all yearEphemeral Streams- water runs only part of yearSources of stream water:oGroundwater (most important source)oMelting IceoSurface Runoff (overland flow) (sheetflow)oPrecipitation (rain water- negligible)oLakes and pondsDrainage BasinsDrainage Basin= area contributing groundwater and runoff to a streamoAlso called watershed or catchmentDrainage Divide= elevated terrain forming rim around a drainage basinWater flows from Tributaries high in drainage basin to Trunk Stream- the largest stream in basin coreDrainage basins vary in sizeBasins are nested, smaller within largerCharacterization of stream network in drainage basin3 parameters used by hydrologistsoDrainage patternSpatial organization of streamDepends on topography and rock structure
oDrainage densityRelative density of nat. drainage channels in a given areaoStream orderingRanking stream in a drainage basin based on rel. their size.Drainage patternsDendritic- uniform rock structure; branching tree-like pattern.Rectangular- jointed and faulted rock; streams are at right angle to one another.Trellis- extreme folding of rock layers; major streams parallel to one another.Radial- rounded upland like volcano; streams radiate outward from a central point.

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