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The Physical Characteristics of a River Introduction: River Features are elements of this landscape made by fluvial processes-that is, the action of running water as it flows through the channels forming the drainage system of a river basin, eroding, transporting, and depositing sediment. (Source from Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2001) A useful way to study a river would be to take a look at its long profile along with its cross sectional profile. The lengthy profile of a river is a part drawn along the length of a river from its source to its mouth. Normally, a long profile has three components: â-- Upper route or mountain tract â-- Middle course or valley tract â-- Lower course or plain tract But in Hong Kong most of the rivers are short and their gradients change suddenly. All these lakes have two classes only, the upper and lower courses. Not all rivers have three well-defined stages. Some achieve base level direct from stage 1 (Base degree is the lowest level down to where a river can erode). Others appear amid lowlands. The diagram below shows typical changes in the river channel: [IMAGE] The table on the next page lists out the attributes made by river procedures in each course. The Long Profile of a River Upper Course Middle Course Lower Course * V shaped valley * Steep gradient * Vertical erosion * Flows between interlocking spurs * Flood water rises high in valley * In flood, river transfers boulders * Small discharge * Small boulders help to wear banks and bed * Blend angular and larger * Pebbels wear potholes in bed * Uneven.