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Hjulstrom Curve/Graph

The main river process are summarised in the table below. Generally,
erosion mainly occurs in the upper and middle courses and is either
vertical or lateral, and deposition mainly occurs in the middle and
lower reaches of the river.

The relationship between these variables is best explained by the
Hjulstrm curve. This is a graph that shows the relationship between
the size of sediment and the velocity required to erode (lift it),
transport it and deposit it. Competence is the maximum size of load
that a river can carry, and this is largely determined by velocity.
The capacity is slightly different in that this is the total amount of
load that is carried. The critical erosion curve shows the MINIMUM
velocity required to lift a particle of a certain size. The critical
deposition curve shows the MAXIMUM velocity at which a river can
be flowing before a particle of a certain size is deposited.
The zone in-between is the zone of transport, note the velocities for
transport are lower than that for erosion, because it takes much
more energy to lift sediment than to maintain it in transport (think
about carrying your school bag full of A - level geography geeky
books, it takes more energy to initially lift it than to carry it). The
other strange pattern is that it takes more energy to erode some of
the smallest particles. This is because they are clay particles which
are bonded together, there fore require a lot of energy to be
eroded.

Generally;
Larger particles require more velocity to be lifted off the bed
Larger particles will be deposited at higher velocities where smaller particles will remain in
transport.
There are different types of load, including bedload, solute or dissolved load and suspended load
which held in the water. During low flow periods rivers will tend to carry only dissolved and
suspended load, and when velocities pick up they will carry bedload as well. Finally, the capacity of
a river tends to increase with distance downstream as volumes and velocities increase.




Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Use the "Hint"
button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. You can also
click on the "[?]" button to get a clue. Note that you will lose points if you
ask for hints or clues!
Use the following data to help you complete the gaps below;
eroded 0.1 silt 120 transported 150 cobbles 200

At 10 cm per second [?] is eroded whilst would be deposited. The
smallest clay particles require velocities of cm per second to be eroded.
For the smallest silts it is approximately cm per second. Cobbles are
upwards of 170cm per second.
Deposition starts to occur at cm per second for particles of
approximately 0.01mm in size. Boulders require the smallest velocity for
deposition, at only cm per second for the smallest boulders 250mm in
size.
Course sand of 0.5 mm in size is between 3cm per second and 16 cm
per second.














Silt is eroded whilst cobbles would be deposited. The smallest clay particles
require velocities of 200cm per second to be eroded. For the smallest silts it
is approximately 120cm per second. Cobbles are eroded upwards of 170cm per
second.
Deposition starts to occur at 0.1 cm per second for particles of approximately
0.01mm in size. Boulders require the smallest velocity for deposition, at only
150cm per second for the smallest boulders 250mm in size.
Course sand of 0.5 mm in size is transported between 3cm per second and 16
cm per second.