Rivers pick up and carry material as they flow downstream.

  • Solution - minerals are dissolved in the water and carried along in solution (in the water).
  • Suspension - fine light material is carried along in the flow of the water.
  • Saltation - small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.
  • Traction - large boulders and rocks are rolled along the river bed.
River transportion processes
  • When energy levels are very high, large rocks and boulders can be transported. Energy levels are usually higher near a river's source, when its course is steep and its valley narrow. Energy levels rise even higher in times of flood.
  • When energy levels are low, only small particles can be transported (if any). Energy levels are lowest when velocity drops as a river enters a lake or sea (at the mouth).