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Biology 2nd Baccalaureate

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14.4.1. Wild or stream waters

Wild or stream waters

The wild waters are shallow waters have neither bed nor fixed rate. They only appear when rainfall is intense or there is a rapid thaw. When it rains, the water soaks the ground. Part of the water infiltrates, but the rest circulates on the surface in the form of sheets of water that are grouped together, descending due to the effect of gravity, until they form small furrows .

They have a lot of erosive capacity, being able to destroy the soil and cause slope movements. The erosive activity of these wild waters depends on:

  • The climate, as they occur with torrential rainfall.
  • The slope of the land and the composition of the materials. If there is a steep slope, gullies form.
  • The vegetation cover, which with its roots, protects the soil from erosion. If there is no vegetation, the erosion is greater.

The geological action of wild waters does not usually occur in rainy climates, but in sub-desert climates, where there is hardly any vegetation and the rains are scarce but torrential. The result is a landscape known as badland, with many furrows or gullies that give rise to larger ones, the ravines.


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Biology and Geology teaching materials for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) and Baccalaureate students.