How does a river change the land?

Teaching and Learning Focus

In the last two investigations students looked at weathering and how rocks break down into smaller pieces over time. In this investigation, students explore erosion, the process by which soil and sediment (the products of weathering) are moved from one location to another. Erosion is caused by gravity, wind, glaciers, and water in the form of ocean waves and currents, streams, and ground water.

How are rocks the same and how are they different?

Teaching and Learning Focus

It is important that your students begin to understand that rocks are made of minerals. Different rocks have different characteristics because of their minerals, the ways in which the rocks were formed, and the processes that acted on the rocks since they were formed. In this first investigation, your students will use their senses to investigate some of the physical properties of different types of rocks. They will then use their observations of the rocks to identify a particular rock from a collection.

How do you deal with shoreline erosion?

The desire to build structures on coastlines has often interfered with the natural erosion processes. There are many kinds of human-built structures that can be found on coastlines. They include lighthouses, commercial shipping ports, hotels, recreational marinas, and houses.

Protecting human-built structures from coastline erosion has been going on for centuries. Humans have devised many different ways of doing this. Examples include groins, jetties, and breakwaters.

What is shoreline erosion?

Erosion always has been, and still is, a natural part of the rock cycle. The landforms that you can see along any coastline have evolved naturally over millions of years.

How beaches form

The accumulation of sediment along a coast produces depositional landforms. A beach consists of sand, gravel, or crushed seashells that have been brought to the body of water by rivers and streams, carried by waves, and deposited on the coast.

What is river and stream erosion?

Streams erode and transport sediment. As the loose sediments are moved along the bottom of the river channel, small bedforms (formations of sediment on the bottom of the stream bed) can develop, such as ripples and sand dunes. The total load (quantity of sediment) of a stream can be described as consisting of three components:


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