River Tay Case Study by whq15269


									                                            RIVER TAY CASE STUDY

Page 4/5 Atlas (British Isles – yellow section)
119 miles long – Scotland’s longest, Britain’s largest
Starts in the mountains in the West of Scotland and flows east, through Perth and Dundee and flows into
the North Sea

Upper course
Characteristics of landscape –                         Characteristics of river –
Wet marshy hilltop                                     Small channel – narrow and shallow
Rain collects and forms into channel                   Fast flowing in steep areas
Water reeds and bright green vegetation –              Lots of energy in parts
sphagnum moss
Poor soil
Steep land
Processes -                                            Landforms –
Water forced down by gravity – Energy builds =         Source
vertical erosion                                       Falls of Acharn near Kenmore
Wears away soil and rock forming waterfalls and        Waterfalls are a popular tourist resort
gorges – softer rock easier to erode than harder       V-shaped valleys steep and narrow.
Use of land and river-                                 Other features -
Forests of pine trees                                  The drainage basin is very large and because of
Sheep farming                                          the relief and location has high rainfall. This
On one of the Tay’s major tributaries – River          produces a number of tributaries and therefore a
Tummel – provides 1/5th of water supply. Has           number of sources (and v-shaped valleys and so
hydro electric power controlled by dams. Once          on)
water used in power stations the water is put back
into the river.

MIDDLE COURSE Loch Tay to Perth
Characteristics of landscape –                         Characteristics of river –
  Gentler slope.                                       Tributaries meet up with main river e.g. River
  When river floods it spills out onto flat land –       Tummel and River Tay meet at confluence
   flood plain                                          River is wider and begins to meander
      Land is flat and fertile and capable of          Leaving a pattern of spurs (harder rock to
   producing high yields of crops.                        erode so river travels round it)
                                                        Water is dark brown and murky because of the
                                                        Appears calm and gentle but river has
                                                          enormous power at this stage cutting through
                                                          the countryside.
                                                             Flooding is common here. Water rises very
                                                          quickly and floods hundreds of acres.
Processes -                                            Landforms –
 River picked up (eroded) lots of sand, gravel         Meanders form a zig-zag shape in the
   and small rocks transporting them downstream.          landscape.
 Outside of bend water travels at great speed          Spurs are formed as the river moves around
   cutting into the bank and eroding material.            areas of harder rock.
 Indside of bend water travels slower and is           River cliffs (outside bend of river where erosion
   shallower leading to deposition and creating           takes place)
   beaches.                                             River beaches (inside bend of river where
 Deposits silt or alluvium on floodplain.                deposition occurs)
                                                        Rapids formed where there are large stones,
                                                          boulders, and resistant rocks. Usually found in
                                                          the lower course but on the Tay found in the
                                                              middle course where the river hasn’t managed
                                                              to erode a crop of resistant rock.

Use of Land and River –                                   Controversy –
 Fertile soil is ideal for arable and mixed farming        Tourism is important (economically and
    – farmers can’t prevent flooding so they have            socially) to the people who live along the River
    to work around the river’s regime (timetable).           Tay but there different needs result in conflict.
    They must make sure that no animals,                    Anglers are unhappy that sporting activities
    machinery or winter crops are at risk during at          such as white-water rafting is taking place on
    flooding periods.                                        the river because this activity unsettles the fish.
 Rivers provided a transport route through                 The activities are not compatible. Fishing is a
    inaccessible areas. Settlements flourished like          relaxing, tranquil activity whereas whitewater
    Dunkeld which was a major religious centre.              rafting is fun and noisy.
 Important for industry – power used for water             To try and help the situation whitewater rafters
    wheels to power textile mills and factories.             are advised on how to be considerate to other
 Water wheels still used and have become a                  river users.
    tourist attraction.                                     Fishermen spend a lot of money but are
Tourism has become one of the Biggest earner                 understanding of the fact that others have a
industry on River Tay. Different groups of people            right to use the river.
using river include canoeists, anglers, walkers and              The two groups of people need to reach a
sightseers and whitewater rafters.                           compromise with their activities.

LOWER COURSE - Tay has a short lower course. Starts and ends around Perth.
Estuary and mouth from Dundee to North Sea
Characteristics of landscape –                            Characteristics of river –
 Land is much flatter.                                      Begins to take on physical characteristics of
         River has eroded even the most resistant            sea
    rock.                                                    River is wider, deeper – deep enough for ships
                                                              to sail up.
                                                             Browny colour as sediment in suspension.
                                                                  sea animals like seals
Landforms –                                               Processes -
 Large meanders ●ox-bow lakes                             Little energy to carry load of material so it
 Braiding                ●deltas                             deposits them as islands or deltas.
         mouth           ●estuary      ●Sand banks        Because of amount of deposition dredgers
                                                              often have to dig out sand to enable shipping
                                                              but sand doesn’t go to waste – sold to other
                                                              parts of Britain.
Use of land and river -
 Delta on the Tay is used as a golf course.
 Flood plain transformed from farming to settlements. Tempting to build on flood plain because land
    is flat, but benefits have to be weighed against risk of flooding. North Newton Estate – scene of worst
    flooding this century. Spent months out of home in temporary accommodation. Destroyed interiors
    of homes.
         Perth’s proximity to the sea made it ideal for ships to sail into. Docks still used today for trade with
    Scandinavia and Mainland Europe in timber, cement, agricultural products.

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