Chapter 11: Floods

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Mandy Meriano

Chapter 11  There are an increasing number of floods in Canada but that may just be from better reporting. People are also building more on flood-prone lands. May be caused by climate change.  Floods occur in Canada anywhere, anytime.  They don’t cause many deaths but they are so expensive.  The Red River Floodway is a trench to divert water during flood times. Normally empty, but necessary to use in the spring every couple of years. Expanded to handle a 1-in-700 years flood.  Dike: A long artificial mound of earth constructed to hold back water. Not always built on a riverbed.  Flood Stage: The maximum capacity for a river to not overflow, anything above this would cause a flood.  Drainage Basin: The land area that contributes water to a river system.  Discharge: The rate of water flow expressed as volume per unit of time.  Load: The amount of sediment waiting to be moved.  Gradient: The slope of the stream bottom  Sinuosity: Length of a stream channel divided by the straight-line distance between it’s ends  A meandering river cuts into the banks, using its energy to erode and transport sediment. The water erodes one side then the other. It deposits the sediment inside a bend where water is shallower and less powerful (called a meander)  Braided Stream: An overloaded stream so full of sediment that water flow is forced to divide and recombine in a braided pattern.  Run Off: Portion of precipitation that travels across land to reach a stream.  Infiltration: Slow passage of water through
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