Rivers flow through V-shaped valleys in their upper course.
V-shaped valleys are so called because they often have very steep sides.
Down in the V-shaped valley
The infant river is flowing very fast and has a lot of energy. It is carrying lots of different sediment, including rocks, boulders, silt, mud, pebbles and stones. The volume of sediment that a river carries is called its load.
The River Severn is carrying its load in different ways:
Materials such trees and branches are carried on the surface of the water.
Very small particles are carried in the water
Very small particles of sediment dissolve in the water
- Saltation. Small pebbles and rocks bounce along the river bed.
- Traction. Small pebbles roll along the river bed
Follow this link to see an animation of how V-shaped valleys are formed
Transportation is the movement of material eroded by the river (called the load) from one place to another.
A valley which resembles a 'v' in cross section. These valleys have steep sloping sides and narrow bottoms.