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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
hydrologic cycle
is the water in hydrosphere's movement in reservoirs in time from evaporation, precipatation and percolation. The biggest revorvoir in the hydrologic cycle is the ocean.
drainage basin
The region from which a stream draws water from. The quantity of water flowing into a stream depends upon the size of the drainage basin upstream from it.
is the volume of water flowing past a given point at a given time. The size of a stream depends on its discharge.
base level
is the lowest elevation to which a stream can erode downward. For most streams base level is the body of water into which they flow.
a meander is a bend in the stream. once a meander forms it tends to enlarge and aslo to shift downstream.
cut bank
is the eroded outside of a meander. The water flows faster on the cut bank side of the meander.
point bar
consists of sediment deposited on the insides of a steam. Point bars build out the banks on the inside of meanders.
stream gradient
is the steepness of the stream channel. The higher the gradient, the steeper the channel is.
oxbow lake
is a cut off meander. To find a faster and more direct route, especially in times of flood, the stream may make a short cut, abandoning the old twisted route.
flood plain
is where the stream spills during floods. A flat expanse of land covered in sediment around the stream channel is the flood plain.
is a fan shaped pile of sediment in a body of water (though usually found in the ocean.) deltas are formed from a river's deposited sediment.
are raised banks along a stream channel. Hurricane Katrina caused so much damage because the levees broke.
is the elevation of the water's surface at any given point. A stream is at flood stage when stream stage exceeds bank height.
is the plotted flunctuations of a stream. Hydrographs spanning long periods of time are very useful for forming a picture to a stream's response to floods.
flood frequency interval
is how frequently a flood of that severity occurs on average for that stream. A flood can be described by its recurrence interval.
point source pollution
is an identifiable source from which pollutants are released. Point sources include sewer outlets, steel mills and septic tanks.
non point source pollutants
is an unidentifiable source from which pollutants are released. They include run off from fertilizer, or acid drainage from an abandoned strip mine.
biological oxygen demand or BOD
of a system is the amount of oxygen required to breakdown organic matter aereobically. The BOD may far exceed the actuall amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.
is the development of excess fertilizer or other organic matter. Algal bloom usually accompanies or results from eutrophication.
is a substance that donates H+. The most acideic number on the pH scale is 1. Acid rain is usually 5.6
is a substance that consmes H+. Th most acidic number on the pH scale is 14. Streams and lakes have a pH of 6-9.
the pH scale
measures acidic and alkaline quality of liquid. The most neutral number on the pH scale is 7.
Acid Neutralizing capacity or ANC
measures how much hydrogen or H+ a body of water can neutralize before it becomes acidic. When a body of water is filled with acid rain, it uses its ANC to neutralize itself again.
carbonic acid
is a weak acid. It is found in slightly acidic rivers.
sulfuric acid
is produced from coal manufactoring. It is strong and highly corrosive and effects fish and forests.
nitric acid
is produced from combustion of fuel and organic matter. It is irritant and corrosive. It causes eutrophication and effects human health.
is a rock that can store a considerable amount of water, but the water flow is slowed or retarded, that is it's permeability is low, regardless of its
vadoze zone
is the zone above the saturated zone consisting of rock or soil and filled with water and air. The vadose zone is key to agriculture productivity.
pheatric zone
is the saturated zone below the unsaturated zone consisting of impermable layers of rock and soil. It is fully saturated/
is a measure of how readily fluid can flow through material. Permeability is related to the size of pores and cracks in the material and to their quantity.
water table
is defined by the top of the saturated zone or pheatric zone. The water table is not always below the ground surface, but can intersect with a resulting lake, spring or wetland.
is a mineral found in limestone and marble. Ithas high poristy and permeability. It is suceptable to chemical weathering.
is a mineral found in granite. It is slow in dissolving and less suceptable to chemical weathering.
is a mineral found in granite. It is the most resistant to chemical weathering.
is rock or glacial deposit that holds enough water and transmites it rapidly to be a useful source of water. Some of the best aquifers are sandstones beause they are porous and permeable.
is the proportion of void space in the material and it measures how much fluid the material can store. Sponges have high porosity.
potentiometric surface
is the height to which the water's pressure would raise the water if the water were unconfined. The potentiometric surface can be the ground water.
artisian well
is a well drilled into an unconfined aquifer. The water in an artesian well can raise above its level in the aquifer because of fluid pressure.
confined aquifer
is bounded above and below by low permeability rocks. Water in a confined aquifer may be under considerable pressure from adjacent rocks.
unconfined aquifer
is an aquifer directly overlain with permeable rocks and soil. An unconfined aquifer may be recharged throuh infiltration since it is not a sectioned off surface.