Lecture 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Tanzina Mohsin

Lecture 5: Lakes and Rivers Rivers and Streams Rivers are flowing bodies of waters on the surface of the earth that usually end at sea Some simply define river as large stream, which flows in a channel Rivers and streams are interchangeable Streams flow in a channel and river in a large body Stream is any body of running water that moves down slope under influence of gravity in a narrow and defined channel on earths surface Bottom of channel of riverstream is called the bed and sides of channel are called banks Rivers generally start at source, like snow melt (such as glacier) or natural spring Early course of river often in steep, mountain areas, which widens as surrounding terrain flattens out Beginning of flow of river is steep and as it moves towards land it widens because the surface is flat The Worlds Rivers Can be categorized in terms of: length, flow, fame 5 great rivers in North America: Yukon, Mackenzie, Nelson, Mississippi, St. Lawrence Yangtze River in China has history of flooding and many natural disasters (also known as sorrow of Asia) Know river figure for midterm Rivers by length o First 5: Nile, Amazon, Chang Jiang (Yangtze), Ob, Huang Ho (Yellow) o Final 3: Mississippi, Mekong, Niger Rivers by flow o Amazon, Congo, Yangtze, Ganges, Parana, Mississippi o Lowest is Murray (Darling) in Australia Rivers by fame o Mackenzie: Canadas longest river o Murray: longest in Australia o Colorado: river famous for Grand Canyon o St. Lawrence: links Greats Lakes with Atlantic Ocean o Missouri: longest in U.S. Residence time and fish population o In general, if residence time is lower, fish population will decline o Sometimes if residence time is higher, fish will die Stream Flow Streamflow = baseflow + interflow + runoff Baseflow: composed of contributions from delayed interflow and groundwater runoff Interflow: portion of streamflow contributed by infiltrated water Losing stream: where stream levels are higher than surrounding watertable, so stream has potential to lose water to aquifer Gaining stream: stream levels are lower than surrounding watertable, so there is potential for groundwater to discharge into stream channel River Erosions and depositions River and stream flow are very important agents of erosion and deposition- part of the global sediment cycle Flow associated with rivers and streams decides on deposits and landforms created on the landscape www.notesolution.com
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