Geology 001                                                                                        West Valley College

Physical Geology                                                                                 

Study Questions: Streams


1)      Llist and define all seven of the components of the hydrologic cycle.  What is the hydrologic cycle?

2)      What is the difference between channel flow and sheet flow? 

3)      Define stream, stream channel, stream banks, stream bed, tributaries, and rills.

4)      What is a drainage basin?  What is a divide? 

5)      Sketch a longitudinal profile for a stream and label the headwaters, flood plains, and stream mouth.

6)      Sketch both types of river channels (V-shaped and flood plain).

7)      Sketch and label the various drainage patterns from figures.

8)      What type of drainage pattern characteristically develops on homogeneous bedrock?  How about on heterogeneous bedrock?

9)      What four factors affect stream erosion and deposition?

10)  How does channel shape control the velocity of the stream (three factors)?

11)  High velocity causes _________________ and ___________________.

12)  Low velocity causes ___________________________________.

13)  Be able to define discharge in words and by the formula for discharge.  Also, be able to calculate discharge given the appropriate parameters.  For example, what is the discharge of a stream with an average width of 29 feet, average depth of 3 feet, and an average velocity of 3 ft/sec?

14)  Why does the discharge of streams increase downstream?

15)  Define velocity, gradient, channel shape, and discharge.

16)  In what ways do streams erode rock and sediment?  Be able to define all three of these processes.

17)  Define hydraulic action, solution action, and abrasive action.

18)  What are potholes and how do they form?

19)  What is bed load, suspended load, and dissolved load?  How is sediment transported in bed load?

20)  Bed load occurs in three ways.  What are these?

21)  Stream deposition occurs along bars, flood plains, deltas, and alluvial fans. Define each of these. 

22)  In a flowing stream, where is the highest velocity of water when the stream is going in a straight line?  Around a meander?  Why is the velocity slower near the margins?  Why is the velocity faster toward the cutbank in a meander?

23)  What are meandering streams?  How do cutbanks and point bars work to cause meander cutoff? 

24)  What is an oxbow lake?