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How Currents move Particles

Water in a river is transported by three basic means:

The waterfall shown to the left is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.

The erosive power of water in a river comes from the abrasive action on the bottom of the river by the sand and gravel carried by the stream. The movement of sand grains in air or water creates ripples and dunes along the surface.

The three transport mechansims described above differ mainly in the velocity of the flow. Thus their ability to pick up particles and erode stream bottoms are like the differences between fine, medium, and coarse sandpaper.


The force of water flowing over the waterfall eventually erodes the rock underneath.
This is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.
Click on image for full size version (186K GIF)
Image from:

How Currents move Particles

Water in a river is transported by three basic means:

The waterfall shown to the left is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.

The erosive power of water in a river comes from the abrasive action on the bottom of the river by the sand and gravel carried by the stream. The movement of sand grains in air or water creates ripples and dunes along the surface.

The three ways in which water can flow, described above, differ mainly in the speed with which the water is flowing. Thus ability of the stream to pick up particles and erode stream bottoms are like the differences between fine, medium, and coarse sandpaper.


The force of water flowing over the waterfall eventually erodes the rock underneath.
This is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.
Click on image for full size version (186K GIF)
Image from:

How Currents move Particles

Water in a river is transported by three basic means:

The waterfall shown to the left is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.

The erosive power of water in a river comes from the abrasive action on the bottom of the river by the sand and gravel carried by the stream. The movement of sand grains in air or water creates ripples and dunes along the surface.

The ability of the stream to pick up particles and erode stream bottoms are like the differences between fine, medium, and coarse sandpaper.


The force of water flowing over the waterfall eventually erodes the rock underneath.
This is an example of both shooting & turbulent flow.
Click on image for full size version (186K GIF)
Image from:


Last modified January 15, 1998 by the Windows Team

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