Hydrologic Cycle / Surface Water Processes



Terms to learn are in BOLD  in the outline below:


Topic outline:

  1. Hydrologic cycle
  2. Drainage basin (watershed)
    1. Stream valley
    2. Drainage divide
    3. Drainage patterns - dendritic, radial, rectangular, trellis
  3. Stream processes
    1. Streamflow
      1. Factors affecting streamflow velocity
      2. Stream gradient
      3. Stream discharge
      4. Competence versus Capacity
    2. Erosion
    3. Transportation
      1. Stream load - bed, suspended, dissolved
    4. Areas of deposition  - delta, alluvial fan, point bar, natural levee
  4. Stream evolution
    1. V-shape
    2. Base-level
    3. meandering - oxbow lake


Interesting places to visit:

General info on streams and floods: http://www.mhhe.com/earthsci/geology/mcconnell/streams/


Great site on flooding: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/flood/


Another great site on floods: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/infocus/floods.html


Good review: http://www.mhhe.com/earthsci/geology/plummer/student/olc/chap10intro.mhtml


When you are finished with this topic, you should be able to answer these questions:

  1. What is the hydrologic cycle?
  2. What factors influence the velocity of a stream?
  3. What is stream gradient and how does it change over the longitudinal stream profile?
  4. What are the types of stream load?
  5. What is the difference between a delta and an alluvial fan?
  6. How are oxbow lakes formed?
  7. How are floodplains formed and what are natural levees?
  8. What controls how far down a stream erodes?