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20 Rivers I - Rivers and Streams Watershed Total land area...

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Rivers and Streams
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Watershed Total land area that drains surface water to a common point. Separated topographically from adjacent basins by a geographical barrier such as a ridge, hill or mountain, which is known as a water divide .
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1/5 of rainwater falling a watershed collects directly in rivers Evaporation Groundwater Lakes Sinks Soil Water Wetlands 80%
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Large Watersheds
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Amazon Watershed ¾ the size of United States 2,720,000 sq mi 80 – 110 ‘’ rainfall/year World’s Largest Watershed 2000
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The Amazon River largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the next top ten largest rivers combined.
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World Hydrology Mouth of Amazon Discharge: 319,000 m³ per sec. 20% of freshwater entering the oceans
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Watershed Biodiversity 2.5 million insect species 2000 bird and mammal species 75,000 types of trees/km 2 150,000 species of vascular plants/km 2 1 in 5 largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world
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$6820/hectare (intact) $1000/hectare (clear cut) $148/hectare (pasture) vanishing at a rate of 20,000 miles² per year 10% of the World’s Terrestrial Primary Productivity Deforestation: releases 200 million metric tons of CO 2 /yr Accumulated 0.62 tons of carbon per hectare per year between 1975 and 1996
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Congo Watershed 1,335,000 mi 2 700,000 mi 2 of tropical rainforest Discharge: 41,800 m³/s 3,000 mi 2 lost each year 2 nd Largest Amazon: 319,000 m³/sec West Africa
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confluence mouth Mississippi Watershed 1,151,000 sq mi Discharge: 12,800 m 3 /sec 3 rd Largest
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confluence tributary headwaters mouth Watershed (basin) Headwaters: the source of the river Mouth: end of river Confluence: the point where two rivers meet Tributary: a smaller river which flows into a larger river Watershed/River Components Length = headwaters to mouth
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Total Length of the Longest Rivers Mississippi/Missouri = 3902 miles Nile = 4135 miles Amazon = 3980 miles Yangtze = 3917 miles Mouth of Nile Congo
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Extra Credit 1. The largest watershed on earth is ______________ 2. The Amazon River is responsible for ___% of freshwater flow to the oceans.
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