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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Malaria, mosquitos and maps: Simon Hay
A Fact-Based World View: Dr Hans Rosling
Why are the worlds big rivers so different: Professor Phil Ashworth
Flooding, climate change and the resilience of cities: Alex Nickson
Future oceans: Professor Callum Roberts
Junkyard planet: Adam Minter
London versus the rest: Evan Davis
Mayhem on the Mekong: Professor Steve Darby
Saving the last cheetahs of Iran: Dr Luke Hunter
Siberia - its history and its people: Professor Janet Hartley
Somalia - The World’s Most Failed State?: James Fergusson
The Landgrabbers: Fred Pearce
What’s going on in Greenland?: Professor Alun Hubbard
Will the shale gail prevail?: Michael Bradshaw

Why are the worlds big rivers so different: Professor Phil Ashworth

May 2013

Big rivers can be found in all of the world’s continents and in every region, across the sub- tropics, high-latitudes and equator

Why are the world's big rivers so different?


0 minutes – Introduction

2 minutes – Lecture begins

4 minutes – Defining big rivers

8 minutes – Channel patterns

15 minutes – Sediment exchange

21 minutes –Hydraulic systems

24 minutes – Measuring big river dynamics

29 minutes – 3D riverbed modeling

32 minutes – Controls on small/big river dynamics

38 minutes – Modelling big river dynamics (animation)

43 minutes – Big rivers and hydrocarbons

55 minutes - Summary

View the lecture (Monday 14 January 2013)


AQA – AS level, unit 1 (Rivers, floods and management) Reassesses changing channel characteristics in the world’s largest rivers. Requires knowledge of fluvial erosion, deposition and resulting landforms

OCR – AS level, unit F761 (River environments) Questions traditional understanding of the process and factors responsible for distinctive fluvial landforms in big rivers

WJEC – AS level, unit G1 (Investigating tectonic and hydrological change) Investigates the hydrological processes associated with the drainage basins of the big rivers worldwide

This online lecture will also be of use for able GCSE students studying river process. It should also be of use to students carrying out rivers fieldwork by illustrating the methodologies required for researching the world’s biggest rivers. Synoptic links can be developed to help students think about the links between rivers and coasts.

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