Case study - river landforms - River Tees

River Tees

The River Tees is located in the north of England. The source of the River Tees is located in the Pennines and it flows east to its mouth where the river joins the North Sea.

The River Tees runs from Cross Fell to the North Sea, in northeast England. The upper course ends with High Force. The middle course runs near Barnard Castle.

Upper course

  • The upper course has hard impermeable rocks. Here, vertical erosion has formed a V-shaped valley.
  • High Force, the UK's largest waterfall at 21 metres high is located in the upper course. An area of hard rock, called Whin Sill (or Whinstone), is located above a layer of soft rocks (sandstone and shale) and together they create this impressive waterfall.
A photo of High Force waterfall
High Force waterfall

Middle course

A photo of OS map
© Crown copyright and database rights 2015 Ordnance Survey

Lower course

  • Near Yarm, the meanders in the lower course are much larger, and oxbow lakes have formed. In this area there are also levees which have formed when the river has flooded.
  • The River Tees has a very large estuary with mudflats and sandbanks which support wildlife in the area. Sites such as Seal Sands are protected areas.
A photo of the River Tees estuary and its mudflats
The River Tees estuary and its mudflats
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