NB: as soon as answering questions on flow features, constantly remember to usage the F.E.E.D. System. (Feature, Explanation, Example, Diagram)


Definitions of main features

Source– whereby a river begins.

You are watching: What is the stage of a river

Tributary– smaller rivers/streams that join the main river.

Confluence– The suggest where 2 rivers join.

Estuary– The part of the river (mouth) i m sorry is tidal.

Mouth– wherein the flow enters the sea/lake.

Watershed– The area of high land that separates 2 basins.

Course– The route taken through a river in between its source

and its mouth.

River Basin– The full area drained by a river and also its


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Activities the a River




Four types of Erosion

Hydraulic Action- The pressure of the water.

Abrasion– The fill hitting the bed and the banks.

Attrition– load hitting against load and eroding.

Solution– some rocks such together Limestone deserve to dissolve due to acids in the water.


Rolling- Larger rocks and also boulders.

Bouncing- Smaller rocks.

Suspension- Light particles are carried in the water.

Solution- Some rocks are liquified in water.

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(Loss of power = has not got the power to bring the load so it has to drop it)

– loses speed and also hasn’t the energy to lug the load.

– as soon as the flow meets resistance once trying to enter the sea or lake.

3 step of a River


– V- Shaped valley > Erosion

– Interlocking spurs > Erosion

– waterfall > Erosion

– Potholes > Erosion


– Meanders > Erosion and Deposition


– Floodplains > Deposition

– Ox-Bow Lakes > Erosion and Deposition

– Deltas > Deposition

– levees > Deposition

 The Young Stage

The river is usually tiny and flows under steep slopes with lots of energy. The features found in the youthful phase of a river space all developed by the procedures of Erosion.

 V-Shaped Valley

 The river will erode downwards in its youthful stage. This is called vertical erosion. This leaves steep sides which room exposed come weathering which in turn loosens and also eventually division up the rock and also soil. This loosened material will certainly then autumn into the river and also be transported downstream. The an outcome is a valley through steep political parties and very narrow floors i m sorry looks prefer a “V”.

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EXAMPLE: upper course of the river Finn at Glenfin, Co. Donegal. 

 Interlocking Spurs

In that youthful stage the river has very tiny power come erode. Together a result, as soon as it meets through obstacles of difficult rock the is unable to cut through them and so has to flow about them. This pipeline interlocking spur of high ground jutting out on both political parties of the valley.

 EXAMPLE: upper course of flow Finn at Glenfin, Co. Donegal.

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Waterfalls are uncovered where there room different species of radical i.e. Where soft and also hard absent lie side by side. While the river is able come erode the soft rock, that is unable to erode the difficult rock. Together a result of this a difference in height starts to kind and a waterfall is developed as the water drops indigenous one level come the other. The force of the water and also the debris lugged by the river under the slope creates what is known as a plunge swimming pool at the basic of the waterfall.

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EXAMPLE: Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim.


(Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim)


Potholes are formed from hollows in a rivers bed. Water and its load (pebbles) circulation into the hollow and the pressure of the current and the swirling activity of the pebbles causes the hole to become broader and depths to kind a pothole.

Eg. Top course of flow Finn, near Glenfin.

The maturation Stage

In the mature phase of a river the slope becomes gentler and also the river becomes much broader as it is join by plenty of tributaries. The flow is likewise carrying a load now that has actually been eroded from more upstream.


Meanders space bends or curves which are discovered in the mature phase (middle course) that a river. As the land is much flatter than it remained in the youthful stage the river tends to totter from side to side. Together it does therefore the existing will be stronger on the outside of the bend and so Erosion will certainly take place, if on the within of the bending the existing flows much more slowly therefore Deposition will certainly take place.

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 EXAMPLE: middle course of flow Finn in ~ Ballybofey, Co.Donegal.


A Meander top top the river Finn

 The Old Stage

At the Old period stage the river is typically at it’s widest. The soil is additionally at that flattest. This method that the river has to work very hard to do its method to the sea. The key agent at work now is Deposition.

Ox-Bow Lakes

Ox-Bow lakes space Horse-Shoe shame lakes i m sorry are found near the finish of a rivers food (Old period Stage). During times of flooding there will certainly be an increase in the speed and also volume that a river. Therefore when a river pertains to a chop meander the it can not go about it merely bursts that banks and also cuts through the bend. The water which flows about the bending will now be flow slowly and also so deposition will take place. With time the meander will come to be cut turn off from the main river since of deposition. The cut off meander is then called an Ox-Bow lake.

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EXAMPLE: river Moy, near Foxford, Co.Mayo.


Floodplains are virtually flat levels of floor which lie in ~ the political parties of rivers that are in their old stage. During times of hefty rain the river might rise until it division its banks and floods the surrounding flat land. As soon as the floods eventually subside, thin layers that Alluvium are deposited ~ above the land. Once the river has actually flooded many times the layers develop up right into a thick productive covering end the floodplain.

EXAMPLE: flow Finn between Ballybofey and also Lifford, Co. Donegal.


The flow Finn flooding at Dreenan, Ballybofey


Levees are long narrow ridges the Alluvium which are uncovered along the banks of many old rivers. Lock are created as a result of flooding. Every time the flow floods that will bring its fill out come the floodplain as it has a great deal that energy. However, once the flood subsides that does not have actually the power to bring the load earlier into the channel and also so shop it. After many floodings these deposits construct up to kind Levees.

EXAMPLE: The old period stage the the flow Finn outside Ballybofey.


A Delta is a triangle area of floor which has actually been developed by a flow depositing its load as the enters the sea or a lake. A delta will certainly only kind if a river has actually been transferring a huge load that Alluvium and also the alluvium is being dropped turn off at a faster rate 보다 the tides/currents can carry it away.

The streams that a flow divides up into to do its method around the deposited material are dubbed Distributaries.

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EXAMPLE: The Mouth of the flow Nile, Egypt.

Uses and advantages of Rivers

Dams might be developed on rivers to produce Hydro-Electric power HEP ( A cheap, renewable source of electricityLeisure/Sport/Recreation……… Fishing, Canoeing, cruising. Fishing attracts tourists, freshwater setravel on the Shannon.Irrigation (Artificial watering the crops) eg: level of Lombardy, Italy. Very important because that agriculture. Flow Po and also its tributaries provided to water crops.


Scenic Attraction.Defence.Boundaries in between Countries and Counties.Provides productive land


Flooding – damages to property, land, animals and homes. An useful crops destroyed, lose of Life, famine or food shortage.Carry pollutants. Native factories and also farmland which can injury livestock fish and also other animals.Carry diseases. Help to spread deadly conditions in third World countries.

Dam building in Ireland

Hydro-Electric power stations which usage rushing water come generate electrical power have been developed on the rivers transparent Ireland. As component of the schemes a dam is built throughout the flow valley. Behind the dam, trapped water rises to kind an fabricated lake.


They allow Hydro-Electric strength to it is in generated.Artificial Lakes have the right to be used as reservoirs for city water supplies.Artificial Lakes can be used for Fishing and also other water sports.


Artificial Lakes flood negotiations and beneficial farmland.The survival of Salmon and other river creatures may be threatened.It is challenging and expensive to dam a river.

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Cathleen’s falls H.E.P. Station in Ballyshannon.