what is a river basin

Size will help determine the amount of water reaching the river, as the larger the catchment the greater the potential for flooding. A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. US Dept of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service Middle Atlantic RFC 328 Innovation Boulevard Suite 330 State College, PA 16803 Accessed from: http://www.cwfnc.org/Yadkinreport.pdf. With the water, they are transported towards the outlet of the basin, and can affect the ecological processes along the way as well as in the receiving water source. The region’s river basins have some of the most outstanding and diverse aquatic systems within the state. It is also determined on the basis of length and width of the drainage basin. The final destination is than an estuary which eventually carries it … The native longear sunfish has been displaced entirely by the non-native redbreast sunfish, and a few other invasive species have been established in segments of the basin, but exact influences on game versus non-game communities are not known. Like the Watauga River basin, herbicides and pesticides used in Christmas tree production also impact the New River basin, but to what degree is still uncertain. A river basin is the portion of land drained by a river and its tributaries. "Catchment basin" redirects here. There are non-native flora species present in the Catawba River basin as well, particularly in the reservoirs, but the specific effects on the native communities require further research. See more. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from rain runoff, snowmelt, hail, sleet and nearby streams that run downslope towards the shared outlet, as well as the groundwater underneath the earth's surface. More monitoring is needed to address to what extent invasive species have become established in the Savannah River basin. If the gauges are many and evenly distributed over an area of uniform precipitation, using the arithmetic mean method will give good results. The health of aquatic ecosystems in the region can be adversely impacted by habitat destruction due to development, point and nonpoint source pollution, hydrologic alteration, and poorly managed agriculture and forestlands. … The river basin includes both rural and heavily urbanised areas in the east and northern parts while the western parts of the catchment are predominantly rural. A river basin refers to the total area of land that is drained by a river and all of its tributaries. River Basin Authorities have also been working for the past few years on river restoration and this issue is still on the agenda as one of the main working tasks. For example, the English crown gave the Hudson's Bay Company a monopoly on the fur trade in the entire Hudson Bay basin, an area called Rupert's Land. Invasive, non-native species like the yellowfin shiner, which is expanding downstream from Franklin, are a potential problem to the basin. The basin encompasses a 1,797-square-mile area that includes four major tributaries—the Cullasaja, Nantahala, Tuckasegee and Cheoah rivers. Formulation", Instructional video: Manual watershed delineation is a five-step process, Instructional video: To delineate a watershed you must identify land surface features from topographic contours, Water Evaluation And Planning System (WEAP) - modeling hydrologic processes in a drainage basin, New Mexico State University - Water Task Force, Watershed Condition Classification Technical Guide. A confluence – where a river joins another river. A river basin is the portion of land drained by a river and its tributaries. https://www.alachuaconservationtrust.org/santa-fe-river-basin A river basin is the land that water flows across or under on its way to a river. Although it exhibits overall good water quality, the New River basin is affected by localized problems and habitat degradation in many of the streams inhabited by priority aquatic species. A river basin is the portion of land drained by a river and its tributaries. It is the component that is very necessary for the growth of all living things, and bodies of water such as rivers and oceans are the homes of many aquatic plants and animals without which our ecological balance would be jeopardized. Rain that falls in steep mountainous areas will reach the primary river in the drainage basin faster than flat or lightly sloping areas (e.g., > 1% gradient). However, soils containing clay can be almost impermeable and therefore rainfall on clay soils will run off and contribute to flood volumes. The final destination is than an estuary which eventually carries it … For example, the total area drained by the Mississippi River constitutes its drainage basin, whereas that part of the Mississippi River drained by the Ohio River is the Ohio’s drainage basin. Land clearing, removal of riparian vegetation, and rural roads are all potential nonpoint source problems. The predominant impact on water quality in the Broad River basin is habitat degradation from sedimentation originating from construction, row crop agriculture, timber harvest, mining, stream bank erosion, and runoff from unpaved rural roads. NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Yangtze River Basin is of rich resources and more than 0.3 billon people live here. Tributaries are rivers or streams that flow into a larger river. There will be a continuing need to balance water releases to meet human and aquatic ecosystem needs. Highway development and construction pose significant threats to many areas of the French Broad River basin, along with poorly managed steep slope development contributing runoff and sedimentation. Other endorheic regions include the Great Basin in the United States, much of the Sahara Desert, the drainage basin of the Okavango River (Kalahari Basin), highlands near the African Great Lakes, the interiors of Australia and the Arabian Peninsula, and parts in Mexico and the Andes. While much of the state's coast is crying out for sediment carried south by the Mississippi River, the Basin has too much of it. COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. A river basin catches all the water flowing downhill into streams and creeks and, eventually, carries it out to sea. The Colorado River Basin provides water to a massive swath of the Rocky Mountain and western states. Water quality is declining due to channel alterations in both rural and urban areas of the basin, combined with the escalating amount of impervious surfaces which lead to drainage problems. Comparable community groups based in Ontario, Canada, are called conservation authorities. It encompasses all of the land surface dissected and drained by many streams and creeks that flow downhill into one another, and eventually into the Milwaukee River. Appomattox River. What is a Watershed? It encompasses all of the land surface dissected and drained by many streams and creeks that flow downhill into one another, and eventually into the River. NOTICE: This site is no longer being actively maintained. A river basin is made up of many different watersheds. Stream bank vegetation is either significantly or entirely lacking throughout the basin, leaving the waters more susceptible to runoff. A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. Numerous small impoundments fragment headwater regions. River Basin vs Watershed. A newly released video highlights how water is managed in the Cumberland River Basin in support of flood risk management, commercial navigation, hydropower production, water supply, environmental stewardship, and recreational opportunities. Though water quality has improved in the past few decades, habitat degradation continues to threaten the overall health of these unique aquatic ecosystems. To view the importance of the region's water assets on a national and regional scale, please access the USDA Forest Service's Forest to Faucets project website. There are also increases in water withdrawals as a result of larger populations moving into the area, a problem primarily in the upper South Fork New sub-basin. Also, demand for water is becoming a contentious issue in the basin – demand for water is expected to increase as much as 55% by 2020. Management of shared drainage basins is also seen as a way to build lasting peaceful relationships among countries.[14]. A confluence - where a river joins another river. The river’s regime is now controlled by a series of dams situated on the Nile itself or on one of its various tributaries; of these, the largest is the Aswan High Dam on the main Nile. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Education. Several development-related issues affect the Roanoke River basin. It is recognized by the ecological community that restoration measures within a river basin must be taken at the watershed scale. In New Zealand, they are called catchment boards. “Basinwide Planning Program: 2002 Little Tennessee River, Basinwide Water Quality Plan, Water Quality Issues Related to the Entire Little Tennessee River Basin.” Accessed from: http://www.wildlifeactionplans.org/pdfs/action_plan_summaries/north_carolina.pdf. Around 18% of all land drains to endorheic lakes or seas or sinks. A river basin sends all the water that falls within it to a central river, and from there to the ocean. National forest and state park lands occupy the majority of the Savannah River basin, but development is increasing on private lands. Dams and impoundments to the east of the region pose a serious threat to the Yadkin River basin. With a steadily increasing human population, demand is growing for water supply from surface waters. A river basin is all of the area on the face of the earth from which the river collects the water that runs in it. For the human geography concept, see, Area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, International Journal of River Basin Management, International Network of Basin Organizations, "What is a watershed and why should I care? Erosion and sedimentation are primarily from ground disturbance from development activities (residential, commercial, transportation, and utility) and agriculture (erosion from poorly managed pastures and row crops). Wherever possible, please seek up-to-date data from other sources. Creeks and streams that flow into a river are tributaries. Small streams join other streams and eventually flow into a river and eventually that river flows into the sea. Basin plans set objectives and the measures for developing, protecting and harnessing the resources of the basin in order to achieve these objectives and health and safety of the river itself. Catchment factors are: topography, shape, size, soil type, and land use (paved or roofed areas). Each drainage basin is separated topographically from adjacent basins by a perimeter, the drainage divide, making up a succession of higher geographical features (such as a ridge, hill or mountains) forming a barrier. Rain that falls on the land making up a river basin collects and drains to the lowest point of that particular piece of land. James & Appomattox Rivers. Portions of the basin are currently at good quality levels, but it does have some impaired waterways, including the Cullasaja River, Mill Creek, upper Little Tennessee River, Beech Flats Prong, and West Buffalo Creek arm of Santeetlah Reservoir. The three rivers that drain the most water, from most to least, are the Amazon, Ganga, and Congo rivers.[9]. Specifically within the French Broad River sub-basin, point source pollution, including both current and lingering effects from past pollution, contributes significantly towards habitat degradation and the extirpation of priority species. The release of colder water causes wildlife degradation, as many native species are unable to adapt to the abrupt changes in water temperature. The basin’s major tributaries in North Carolina are also upstream from larger impoundments in Georgia and South Carolina. In North America, this function is referred to as "watershed management". The catchment is the most significant factor determining the amount or likelihood of flooding. Management of such basins becomes the responsibility of the countries sharing it. When a river basin crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary, it is identified as a transboundary river. Not as widespread as nonpoint sources of pollution, point sources are still a significant problem causing habitat degradation in the basin. James River Basin Map. At present, water quality conditions of the Watauga River basin are very favorable, but there are lingering effects from past pollution occurrences. Hydropower development has altered and degraded many habitats for most indigenous aquatic species. The numerous  non-native species inhabiting the basin includes Asian clams, grass carp, blue, channel, and flathead catfishes, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, white bass, yellow bass, and rainbow and brown trout. Sedimentation caused by agriculture, forestry, and construction has degraded water and habitat quality. Waste water treatment plants and industrial discharges are the primary point source polluters. River basins have typical features, these include: Tributary – a smaller river or stream flowing into a larger river. Yangtze River Basinrefers to the 11 provinces (such as Qinghai Province, Tibetan, Sichuan Province, Yunnan Province and Chongqing) the mainstream and tributaries of Yangtze River flow through. More research is needed to fully assess effects of invasive species in the French Broad River basin. It encompasses all of the land surface dissected and drained by many streams and creeks that flow downhill into one another, and eventually into the Milwaukee River. Threats also emerge from the numerous non-native aquatic species established throughout the basin. Rain falling within a river basin (or watershed) will run downhill until it reaches a stream. A river basin drains all of the land around a major river. River Raisin National Battlefield Park preserves, commemorates, and interprets the January 1813 battles of the War of 1812 and their aftermath in Monroe and Wayne counties in SE Michigan. A river basin can be very large; the term refers to the total area of land that is drained by a river and all of its branches and tributaries. A river basin is the area of land from which all the water flows into a particular river. After prolonged rainfall even free-draining soils can become saturated, meaning that any further rainfall will reach the river rather than being absorbed by the ground. Measurement of the discharge of water from a basin may be made by a stream gauge located at the basin's outlet. : Louis river basin, it has disrupted ecosystems all across the Great Lakes. These basins contain the headwaters of streams and rivers that provide a critical supply of fresh water to towns and cities in and outside of the region. Invasive species are also potential threats to the native aquatic species living in the basin. In endorheic bodies of standing water where evaporation is the primary means of water loss, the water is typically more saline than the oceans. 1. the entire geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries; an area characterized by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet Familiarity information: RIVER BASIN used … Hydrologic units are defined to allow multiple inlets, outlets, or sinks. http://www.wildlifeactionplans.org/pdfs/action_plan_summaries/north_carolina.pdf, http://www.ee.enr.state.nc.us/public/ecoaddress/riverbasins/savannah.150dpi.pdf, http://www.ee.enr.state.nc.us/public/ecoaddress/riverbasins/new.150dpi.pdf. From national groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy to more locally-based organizations like the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, there is research being conducted with the goal of preserving these valuable aquatic ecosystems. The drastic lack of streamside vegetation and overly narrow riparian corridors have caused excessive erosion and habitat loss due to sediment deposition and the over-widening of water channels. Christmas tree farming in the basin may also add pesticide and herbicide pollution to streams. A portion of the water that enters the groundwater system beneath the drainage basin may flow towards the outlet of another drainage basin because groundwater flow directions do not always match those of their overlying drainage network. Modern use of artificial fertilizers, containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, has affected the mouths of drainage basins. Destruction of aquatic habitat appears to be the largest water quality issue in the Roanoke River basin. A watershed is a small version of a river basin. The drainage basin acts as a funnel by collecting all the water within the area covered by the basin and channelling it to a single point. [1] Drainage basins connect into other drainage basins at lower elevations in a hierarchical pattern, with smaller sub-drainage basins, which in turn drain into another common outlet.[2]. ", "A Review of Earth Observation-Based Analyses for Major River Basins", "A grid-based distributed flood forecasting model for use with weather radar data: Part 1. Every stream and tributary has its own watershed, which drains to a larger stream or wetland. Niger basin. As water flows over the ground and along rivers it can pick up nutrients, sediment, and pollutants. “A River in Jeopardy: The Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers of North Carolina,” Carpenter, B., et al., October 2002. James River. Almost the entire basin is either impounded or regulated by hydropower projects. Soil type will help determine how much water reaches the river. Shape will contribute to the speed with which the runoff reaches a river. Historically, the region has maintained a bountiful supply of fresh water for residential, commercial, and industrial use; however, recent droughts have increased awareness of the need for water conservation. Cycleau - A project looking at approaches to managing catchments in North West Europe, flash animation of how rain falling onto the landscape will drain into a river depending on the terrain, StarHydro – software tool that covers concepts of fluvial geomorphology and watershed hydrology, Florida Watersheds and River Basins - Florida DEP, List of rivers that have reversed direction, A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia, Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Drainage_basin&oldid=991247644, Articles with dead external links from December 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, About 48.7% of the world's land drains to the, Just over 13% of the land in the world drains to the, This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 02:15. River Basin Basics. [5][6][7] In North America, the term watershed is commonly used to mean a drainage basin, though in other English-speaking countries, it is used only in its original sense, that of a drainage divide. In the Thiessen polygon method, the drainage basin is divided into polygons with the rain gauge in the middle of each polygon assumed to be representative for the rainfall on the area of land included in its polygon. Large development, urbanization, and agriculture are also evident nonpoint sources of pollution and sedimentation. The Battle resulted in the greatest victory for Tecumseh’s American Indian confederation and the greatest defeat for the U.S. The following is a list of the major ocean basins: The five largest river basins (by area), from largest to smallest, are the basins of the Amazon (7M km2), the Congo (4M km2), the Nile (3.4M km2), the Mississippi (3.22M km2), and the Río de la Plata (3.17M km2). Calculating the area between these curves and adding up the volume of water is time-consuming. “Savannah River Basin, 2007.” Accessed from: http://www.ee.enr.state.nc.us/public/ecoaddress/riverbasins/savannah.150dpi.pdf. Just as a bathtub catches all the water that falls within its sides, a river basin sends all the water falling on the surrounding land into a central river and out to an estuary or the sea. New home construction, primarily on steep slopes, is increasing steadily. The Asian clam is established in both the Little Tennessee and Tuckasegee Rivers, Chinese snails have been found in Cowee Creek, and the rusty crayfish is established in at least one area downstream from Fontana Reservoir. river basin The land area that is drained by a river and its tributaries. Un-impounded areas are affected by decreasing water temperature, altered hydrologic processes, and low levels of oxygen due to releases from the Chatuge and Nottely dams. In addition to nonpoint source pollution, point source pollution (such as municipal waste water treatment plants, selenium ash pond discharge, industrial facilities, small package treatment plants, and urban and industrial storm-water systems) can degrade aquatic habitats. Drainage basins are the principal hydrologic unit considered in fluvial geomorphology. What is a watershed and why should I care? James River below Holcomb Rock. Neighborhoods, forests, mountains and cities can all be located in a river basin. Residential and agricultural development is on the rise, which also raises the threat of habitat loss through increasing erosion. Treatment began in the early 1990’s to improve water quality and the recovery of many native species has been favorable, though the River continues to be heavily monitored. Drainage basins have been historically important for determining territorial boundaries, particularly in regions where trade by water has been important. The New River, in the northeast corner of the region, is thought to be one of the oldest in the world. Other terms for drainage basin are catchment area, catchment basin, drainage area, river basin, water basin,[3] [4] and impluvium. North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Education. The most widespread problem facing the French Broad River basin is habitat degradation from nonpoint source pollution. Sedimentation and erosion from nonpoint sources is a primary threat affecting the basin. Other causes of degradation in the basin include sedimentation from ground disturbance from development and agriculture, loss of streamside vegetation, water withdrawals, point source pollutants (waste water treatment plants and permitted industrial dischargers), and nutrient loading. The Pigeon River sub-basin has a long history of point source pollution. Some of these, such as the Great Basin, are not single drainage basins but collections of separate, adjacent closed basins. Of the entire 144-mile Little Tennessee River, there are only 47 miles in Georgia and North Carolina that remain un-impounded. In hydrology, the drainage basin is a logical unit of focus for studying the movement of water within the hydrological cycle, because the majority of water that discharges from the basin outlet originated as precipitation falling on the basin. Water withdrawals, impoundments, and interbasin water transfers will have a serious effect on species in these aquatic areas. Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world which covers a river basin of 0.68 million square kilometers. These streams, ponds, wetlands, and lakes are part of a river basin. Isochrone maps can be used to show the time taken for runoff water within a drainage basin to reach a lake, reservoir or outlet, assuming constant and uniform effective rainfall.[10][11][12][13]. The minerals are carried by the drainage basin to the mouth, and may accumulate there, disturbing the natural mineral balance. The largest of these consists of much of the interior of Asia, which drains into the Caspian Sea, the Aral Sea, and numerous smaller lakes. A river basin is an area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. For example, rainfall on roofs, pavements, and roads will be collected by rivers with almost no absorption into the groundwater. It is impacted from nonpoint sources, primarily erosion, which increase as streams flow into the more developed valleys and merge into larger water areas. The Niger basin is the largest river basin of western Africa. countable noun. NC Wildlife Resources Commission. In Western North Carolina, there are ten river basins split by the Eastern Continental Divide, five draining to the Gulf of Mexico (New, Watauga, French Broad, Little Tennessee, and Hiwassee) and five draining to the Atlantic Ocean (Roanoke, Yadkin, Catawba, Broad, and Savannah). Mussels, crayfish, snails, salamanders, and many species of freshwater fish, such as native brook trout, are then at risk due to poor water quality and altered hydrology. James River above Holcomb Rock. Exotic pathogens and parasites pose serious threats to the rare species inhabiting the Little Tennessee River basin. River basins have typical features, these include: Tributaries - smaller rivers flowing into a larger river. The native spotfin chub was recently found to be infested with a tapeworm from Asia. The southern Appalachian Mountains serve as "water towers" for the southeastern United States. 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