Levees and Floodplains Flashcards

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What is a flood plain?
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A flood plain is a large area of flat land on either side of the river that experiences or has experienced flooding.

Find out more about landforms in the lower course of the river.

What is a flood plain?
How is a flood plain formed?
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Floodplains form due to erosion and deposition. Erosion removes any interlocking spurs, creating a wide, flat area on either side of the river. During a flood, the material being carried by the river is deposited (as the river loses its speed and energy to transport material). Over time, the height of the floodplain increases as the material is deposited on either side of the river. The floodplain is often a wide, flat area caused by meanders shifting along the valley.

Find out more about landforms in the lower course of the river.

How is a flood plain formed?
What are the characteristics of levees?
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The main characteristics of levees are:

  • raised river banks
  • consist of gravel, stones and small sediment
  • steep on the channel side, gentle sloping on the land side
  • relatively flat top covered in grass

Find out more about landforms in the lower course of the river.

What are the characteristics of levees?
How are levees formed?
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When a river floods friction with the floodplain leads to a rapid decrease in the velocity of the river and therefore its capacity to transport material.  Larger material is deposited closest to the river bank. This often leads to large, raised mounds being formed. Smaller material is deposited further away and leads to the formation of gently sloping sides of the levees.

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How are levees formed?
Why are flood plains often very fertile?
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It’s made up of alluvium (deposited silt from a river flood).

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Why are flood plains often very fertile?




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