The lotic ecosystems They include bodies of fresh water in constant movement, such as rivers, streams and springs. These form the hydrographic basins, which play a fundamental role in the water cycle since the fresh water from the river systems circulates in them until it reaches the sea, where it flows. In addition, the relief and climate are determining factors in the river formation, But in what way? Do we know where the water in the rivers comes from?
If you want to delve into the origin of these ecosystems and understand what rivers are, check out this Green Ecologist article on how rivers are formed, where you can discover where the rivers are born and what their main characteristics are.
Rivers are bodies of surface water that flow through channels, from areas of higher altitude to areas of lower altitude, due to the effect of gravity, this path of water being known as River's course.
These natural currents of fresh water, for the most part, originate in high mountain areas due to the accumulation of rainwater, springs, ice and snow. The water accumulates and concentrates in depressions forming lakes that, later, give rise to the first river beds. These channels are sculpted by the action of water erosion and, when they wear down, reach depths that reach the saturated layer, thus allowing the groundwater to rise to the surface, adding to the flow of the river.
In relation to your course or route, it is possible to differentiate 3 parts of the rivers:
In function of the river branching a classification system is established according to orders:
The territory through which the waters flow towards the same river and which may or may not comprise such ramifications is what we know as a hydrographic basin.
The water inlet at watersheds it takes place mostly by precipitation. This is a process in which all the moisture that is stored in the clouds reaches the earth's surface in the form of rain, hail, snow, mist, or dew and it becomes runoff or surface runoff feeding the rivers.
But rainwater can infiltrate the ground and form groundwater. The groundwater They are located in the saturation zone, where it is stored completely saturating the pores or fissures of the subsoil. When rivers reach the depth of the saturated layer, the groundwater rises to the surface, forming part of the river flow.
Likewise, the river sources They can be direct from a lake, in which water from precipitation has accumulated, located at a very high altitude that begins to overflow at a point and the water begins to form furrows in the ground, giving rise to a river. However, the sources of rivers can also occur directly from groundwater that is located in high mountain areas. In these cases it can be observed a spring, which is a natural source of water. A hole, of greater or lesser size, is observed in the rocky wall through which water emanates. As soon as there is enough water, the river continues to flow. Of course, these rivers are then added to the water from the rains, from the melting of the snows, etc.
Some of the most important characteristics of rivers:
Now that you have discovered all these about how rivers are born and more characteristics of these, we encourage you to continue learning about them with these other Green Ecologist articles:
In addition, here below you will see some interesting and short videos about why there is water in the rivers if it does not rain and why the water in the rivers is sweet.
If you want to read more articles similar to How rivers are formedWe recommend that you enter our Nature Curiosities category.