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The River Severn

A Key Stage 2 Resource for Rivers and Coasts

 
 
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 Photographs of the River Severn from Source to Sea by Mandy Barrow

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A deeper v-shaped valley

Rivers flow through V-shaped valleys in their upper course.

image: valley

V-shaped valleys are so called because they often have very steep sides.

image stream
Down in the V-shaped valley

The infant river is flowing very fast and has a lot of energy. It is carrying lots of different sediment, including rocks, boulders, silt, mud, pebbles and stones. The volume of sediment that a river carries is called its load.

The River Severn is carrying its load in different ways:

  1. Flotation
    Materials such trees and branches are carried on the surface of the water.
  2. Suspension
    Very small particles are carried in the water
  3. Solution
    Very small particles of sediment dissolve in the water
  4. Saltation. Small pebbles and rocks bounce along the river bed.
  5. Traction. Small pebbles roll along the river bed

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Follow this link to see an animation of how V-shaped valleys are formed

 

Key Vocabulary

Transportation
Transportation is the movement of material eroded by the river (called the load) from one place to another.

V-shaped Valley
A valley which resembles a 'v' in cross section. These valleys have steep sloping sides and narrow bottoms.

 

 
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