By Trevor Day
The geography and geology of lakes and rivers is an interesting topic. From plankton to bigger fishes and flora and fauna, rivers and lakes are wealthy with biodiversity. The earliest civilizations have been established round rivers, together with the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, and Indus and Huang Ho valleys. Illustrating the actual geography, hydrology, ecology, and human use of those parts, "Lakes and Rivers" presents a good review of the prior, current, and way forward for those habitats. This quantity concludes with a dialogue of threats to rivers and lakes, akin to overharvesting, results of damming, pollutants, and weather swap, in addition to how you can deal with and defend those habitats.
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Additional resources for Lakes and Rivers (Biomes of the Earth)
Once the river has made the “decision” which way to flow, erosion ensures that the established channel grows larger. The combination of random and predictable processes, repeated again and again, results in rivers developing a branching network as tributaries join together. These principles of randomness and predictability operate at different scales—from a small stream to a major tributary—and so the network generated has a similar appearance at different scales of magnitude. complex the stream system, the more orders of stream it has (see sidebar).
Landslides or lava flows can dam a river valley, creating a lake almost overnight. In the 1910s, a rock slide in the Murgab Valley of what is now Tajikistan, Central Asia, blocked the river, creating a massive lake, Lake Sarez. Within a few years, the lake grew to a length of 38 miles (61 km) and a depth in excess of 1,657 feet (505 m). Some animals dam rivers purposely to create regions with raised water level. Beavers construct dams out of logs and branches to keep the entrance of their home, called a lodge, flooded so that land predators cannot enter (see “On two or four legs,” pages 117–127).
In the cool, low-pressure conditions at the top of a mountain, the air may become saturated when it contains much less than five grams of water per kilogram of air. For this reason, relative humidity is often a more useful measure. Relative humidity is the mass of water vapor in a given volume of air compared to the amount the air could contain if saturated. When the air has a relative humidity of 100 percent, it is saturated with water vapor and cannot absorb any more. If the air is saturated at ground level, evaporation effectively ceases.