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Home > Geography > Rivers > River landscapes

Geography

River landscapes

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Introduction

A river is often divided into three parts or stages and has features that are specific to each stage.

 

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The table below will remind you of some of the main features of each stage.

StageMain activityMain features
Upper course (steep gradient)Vertical (downward) erosionSource; Tributaries; V-Shaped valley; Interlocking spurs; Waterfalls; Rapids; Gorges
Middle course (gentle gradient)Lateral (sideways) erosion starts; TransportationRiver beaches (slip off slopes); Meanders; River cliffs
Lower course (very low gradient)DepositionFlood plain; Ox-bow lakes; Levées; Delta; Estuary

In the examination you might be asked in detail about one part of the river, or more general questions about the whole river.

 

Click the audio for an example of changes in a river's course.

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Watch

Rocks

Class Clips

The features of the upper course of the River Tay

Watch

River

Class Clips

The features of the middle course of River Tay

Watch

River

Class Clips

The features of the lower course of the River Tay

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