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USGS CMG InfoBank: Velocity of Water

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Comment: 03:15 - 04:00 (00:45)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 19. Running Water I: Rivers, Erosion and Deposition
Keywords: "Dee Trent", river, stream, "water velocity", erosion, transportation, discharge, sediment, slope, gradient, "river channel", friction, energy

Our transcription: One of the most important factors influencing the geologic impact of a river is the velocity of its water.
A swiftly flowing river erodes and transports more sediment than a slow river.
Velocity generally increases with the slope of the river, but channel shape also plays a role.
If a channel has a nearly perfect semicircular cross section, the frictional resistance is the minimum, so the water loses very little energy flowing over the channel.
If it's a wide, flat channel, that's a fairly shallow river, there's a greater surface area along the banks and the bottom, and that tends to slow the stream down, too.

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