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Analysis

Efficiency is how well a river can carry its water and its load, it is worked out by
dividing the rivers wetted perimeter by the cross-sectional area (CSA). The larger the
wetted perimeter and the more semi-circular the CSA is, the more efficient the river
will be. The efficiency of the river is determined by its shape, if a river is crooked has
edged shapes, has eroded parts to it or the CSA or wetted perimeter is small or un-
semi-circular the water will be more shallow and therefore it will have a poor
efficiency.

There are many things that can change the cross-sectional area or the river as flows
downstream. Corrosion occurs when the rivers load grinds against the river bed down
vertically.

There are many factors which change the cross sectional area of the river as it goes
downstream. Erosion is one and this can be broken down into smaller sections.
Corrosion occurs where the river uses its load to grind against the bed and sides. This
erosion deepens the river by vertical erosion and widens it by lateral erosion. Attrition
occurs when material in the water collide with one another. They then break and
become smaller particles. These particles become smoother and rounded. Also, there
is corrosion, where the solvent action of water dissolves soluble materials and carries
them away in solution. Lastly, when talking about erosion affecting the CSA of the
river downstream, hydraulic action where water travelling at a high speed enters the
line of weakness of rock when it hits against these rocks at the side of the channel.
This causes the rock to break.

Discharge is directly linked to erosion, when talking about the CSA. This is because;
the higher the discharge is (WxDxV) the more erosion there will be.

As the river goes downstream, we can clearly see in my results that the discharge
increases at each site. Higher velocity (creating stronger hydraulic action) and high
discharge created more erosion downstream, the majority of the erosion being lateral
because the gradient of the river became, generally, less deep from source to mouth.
This lateral erosion meant that the river became wider downstream and therefore it
was more efficient, transporting more water and load. Greater velocity created more
energy, meaning that there would be more erosion from the hydraulic action. At site 4
there is a lot of meandering which is caused by the eroding of the banks by the load
smashing into the bank.

There are also many factors, which reduce the wetted perimeter in relation to the
CSA. The erosion that takes place, which is explained above, smoothes out the
riverbed, causing it to decrease and become more like a semi circle. The wetted
perimeter was also affected by the vegetation and load amount. At the first site the
load amount was very high, and there was also a lot of plants, which affected the WP.
This became less of a problem downstream as the load amount decreased and there
was less vegetation around the sites, therefore becoming more efficient.
The efficiency ratio became greater from source to mouth, multiplying the width,
depth and wetted perimeter. This clearly shows that the river became more efficient
downstream, which fits perfectly with Bradshaw’s model of a perfect river.

From the data that I collected, we can clearly see that the river Tillingbourne fits
Bradshaw’s model of Perfect River. To show this I can use the example of the CSA
increasing at every site. This connects to velocity, which makes up the discharge when
multiplied together. The higher the discharge the more erosion there was meaning that
the wetted perimeter would be smoother and therefore more efficient, allowing more
water and load to be carried through.

The river Tillingbourne does fit Bradshaw’s model. The efficiency of the river became
greater from source to mouth.