Facts about rivers

Facts about rivers
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  FACTS ABOUT RIVERS/WATER  The longest river in the world is the Nile River, it reaches around 6650 kilometres in length (4132 miles).  The second longest river in the world is the Amazon River, it reaches around 6400 kilometres in length (4000 miles).  The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River, stretching around 2,340 miles (3,770 km) in length (slightly longer than the Mississippi River). The two combine to form the longest river system in North America, reaching around 3902 miles in length (6275 km).  Small rivers oen have dierent names which include creek, stream and brook.  Rivers normally contain freshwater.  The word upriver (or upstream) refers to the direcon of the river’s water source, while downriver (or downstream) refers to the direcon in which the water ows, i.e. towards the end of the river.  Rivers have many uses which include shing, bathing, transport, raing and swimming among others.  Most of the world’s major cies are located near the banks of rivers.  The Ganges, Yangtze and Indus rivers are three of the most polluted on Earth.  The University Boat Race is held every year on the Thames River in London between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club. The crews feature eight members who bale it out on the 6,779 m (4 miles and 374 yards) course.  The Colorado River travels through the south western United States and north western Mexico, it is home to the famous Hoover Dam.  On January 15 2009, a US Airways plane successfully made an emergency landing in the Hudson River that runs through New York. Aer being hit by birds, the pilot of ight 1549 managed to land the plane in the river with the loss of no lives.  Water covers ¾ of the earth’s surface  Most of the water is permanently frozen or salty  Antarcca holds over 90% of the World’s fresh water  If all of the world’s water could t into a gallon sized container, only 1 tablespoon of that water would be drinkable, fresh water     The amount of water on the earth has remained the same for 2 billion years The River A river has a life just the same as any living thing. A river is born at the headwaters and nishes up at its mouth. Come along for the trip as we visit the enre river Headwaters Rivers start with a drip. Probably from melng snow high in themountains during the warming of spring. The drips collect together unl they form a small puddle. This puddle begins to run down the slope of a mountain in a very small trickle. Although very small, this is where it all begins. This is calledthe headwaters or the source. It doesn’t start in one specicplace, but in many locaons generally around the highest partof a mountain .Creek, brook, brooklet, crick, stream, rivulet… It is known by many names, but it means the same thing. As the water begins to form the basis of a river, it starts out verysmall. Water from several locaons begins to collect intominiature rivers. They may be only an inch across or they could gather into a larger version that may be several metersacross. The water is controlled by gravity to move down themountain. And all along its path it nds more water also onthe same journey. One stream will nd more and jointogether on the way to the lowest point in the trip. Tributary The dripping becomes a trickle, a trickle becomes a stream and streams collect together to make a river. But it doesn’t stop there. Rivers will nd each other too and assemble into a wider and bigger river. Along the way, rivers will gather together just the same as the streams gathered into one. When rivers form this type of a family, we call each of the small rivers a tributary . Where they meet is a fork. At the fork, a small river ows into a larger river. One river can take all of the rainwater from a given area and move that water o to drain away. This is known as the drainage basin. The picture shows an overhead view of tributaries owing into a larger river, much the same way that branches of a tree all connect to the trunk.  Fascinatng Facs abou American rivers  There are more than 250,000 rivers in the United States, which is about 3,500,000 miles (5 632 704 km) of river!  The Mississippi is the largest river in the U.S (in terms of water volume)  The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River (it is a tributary of the Mississippi River and is 2,540 miles (4087km) long  There are two Apple rivers in the US – one in Wisconsin and one in Illinois – the Banana River in Florida, the Blueberry River in Minnesota, the Cherry River in West Virginia, and the Cranberry River in Massachuses Parts of a River A river never moves from its headwaters directly to the mouth without changing the land that it travels through. The changes that a river makes upon the land help to dene a river’s shape, size and even its beauty. Let’s take a look at some of the parts of a river and how it becomes this way. Glacier Way up in the mountains of some parts of the world you will nd glaciers. Years of snow and icehave accumulated over me and have built up a thick, heavy mass of frozen material. Some of thisnever really melts or it might parally melt and then refreeze. A glacier is actually a river of snowand ice which moves very, very slowly down its coarse. As it moves, it can drag soil and rock alongwith it. A glacier is great at carving a valley as it travels along. Somemes a glacier can create abasin or bowl shaped formaon. A glacier can move rocks and deposit them miles from theirsrcinal source or locaon. Rocks, gravel, and sand from glaciers have been found sing lonely andfar away from the place of a prehistoric glacier. This discarded material is called amoraine and isused to idenfy glaciers of the past.  Erosion Moving water is a powerful force and can wear away soil and rocks. Soil washes down steep slopes especiallywhen there are no plants or trees to hold the soil in place. The moving of soil and rock is called erosion. Erosion is responsible for lling rivers with mud aer heavy rain or aer a forest re. This can choke out sh and make the water undrinkable for other wildlife. The moving soil in the river will also act to erode addional rocks and soil. The soil and water can bounce sharp edged rocks and pound them with sand and gravel. Thisconnues the erosion process. When the rocks have worn down to smooth edges, they are easily idened as a characterisc known as river rock. Valleys Erosion is also responsible for creang valleys in mountains. The V shaped grooves are created by water eroding soil froma hill or mountain in a short period of me. This swi meansof taking soil away from the mountain oen denes theshape of a peak and creates the highs and lows of amountainside. The U shape of an older valley is evidence of erosion that has taken place over a great period of mewhere addional erosion from rocks, sand and gravel hasmoved much more material from the valley oor. Waterfall Waterfalls are oen some of our favourite scenery in nature, but nature’s waterfalls are just another sign of the power of moving water. Waterfalls, because of their speed, can move huge amounts of rock andsoil. A waterfall can dig a hole at the boom of its ow known as a plunge pool. The soil and rocks that once sat at the boom of the waterfall have been moved on down stream. If you could stop the ow of the water you could see that there is an indentaon right below where the water drops. The moving water usually prevents us from viewing this pool. The moving water can also wear away the rocks at the top of the waterfall and the shape of the waterfall can change as the years go by.  Canyon As a river travels and carries away rocks and soil, it cancreate a deep groove in the earth’s surface. All alongthe sides of the river, the groove can get deeper anddeeper. In me, this can create a canyon. Dependingupon the type of rock along the sides of the river, acanyon can have sharp cli-like sides. Some canyonsare very famous, such as the Grand Canyon or theSnake River Canyon. Fascinatng Facs abou European rivers  The longest river of Europe is the River Volga 2,294 miles (3692 km) which ows through Russia into the Caspian Sea. The second longest is the Danube, ows west to east before entering the Black Sea.  There are 1,352 rivers in Europe  The Vasco da Gama Bridge spans the Rivers Tagus and is the longest bridge in Europe 17.2km  The Rhine runs for over 766 miles (1,232 km) and ows through six countries -Switzerland, Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before owing into the North Sea at Roerdam. The Water Cycle Rivers are just a part of a bigger system of the earth known as the water cycle. All of the waterthat has ever existed or ever will exist is here on the earth today. The same water that yourfavourite dinosaur drank might be the water you drink later today. Some of the earth’s water isfrozen, some of it is in a gaseous form and then some is liquid. Water can be in any of these formshere upon the earth. Some water is even part of living things. It is in your body, it is in the trees, itis in your food and even in the air. This water goes through a constant cycle of movement whichcleans, redistributes and stores it for later use.
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