Thursday, 20 January 2011


Dear Geographers,
As discussed in my workshop today with my lower sixth, here are some of my top tips for geographerising your language (once again, apologies for the appalling abuse of the English language, but I'm hoping it might catch on).
This is a collection of words that i have most commonly seen being misused, by misused I mean used in place of the correct terminology you have been taught and should be using!
Bendiness – sinuosity, the term to describe how bendy a river channel is. It is calculable, you can measure the actual channel length, and the straight-line distance next to the channel and then divide the actual by the shortest distance, if the answer is close to 1 the channel is straight, the higher the number, the more sinuous (bendy) it is.

Sticky - Cohesive - clay is cohesive, that is why it requires more energy to entrain into the flow of a river than is required for a particle of a much larger size. This is why the Hjulstrom curve has an anomaly for clay sized particles on the mean entrainment curve.
Older British generation - The Baby Boomers! Those born after the end of World War Two, currently reaching retirement age
Velocimeters/water meters/spirometers - Its a flow meter people! An essential bit of kit for any rivers fieldwork, the limitation is that we cant afford the really accurate ones as they cost thousands!
Rage poles/red and white sticks/poles - There are an infinite number of names that this department has read over the past few years, but no geography trip would be complete without our trusty Ranging Poles
Bouncing along the bed - This is actually reffered to as Saltation! And it is part of the Bedload of a river (which also includes Traction - not particles "Being dragged along the bed")
Dissolved stuff - If it is dissolved, it is part of a Solution, therefore is Solute Load.
Big rock/small rock/muddy stuff - Use your grain sizes! Clay, Silt, Sand (Fine/Medium/Course), Gravel, Pebbles, Cobbles and Boulders!
How a river changes over a year - The River Regime
There are always marks awarded for the correct use of terminology, particularly for the fieldwork sections, getting the names of the kit right, and describing in detail gets you the marks, remember that if I picked up your answer on data collection, I should be able to go and do it myself using your instructions!

Thats all for now as I need to plan a stats lesson for my Upper Sixth!

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