Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

How do alluvial fans differ from pediments?

To determine

The difference between an alluvial fan and a pediment.


When the streams in arid areas such as ephemeral, intermittent, or even perennial rivers flow out of narrow upland canyons onto the open, less-confining lowland plains, then the channels become shallow and wide. Since the stream discharge is equal to the cross-sectional width and the depth of channel is multiplied by the velocity of flow, the increase in width results in the decrease in flow velocity and thereby reduces the stream capacity, which can be defined as the maximum size of the load.. As the water seeps into the coarse channel alluvium, the discharge decreases downstream. It leads to the deposition of sediments that are carried by streams emerging from mountain front canyon along the base of the highlands.

The stream channel is constrained by bedrock valley walls in the upstream portion of canyon mouth. However, the area where it flows beyond the mouth of canyon, the channel widens and shifts its position laterally. Initially, the sediments are deposited just beyond the mouth of canyon and build up the lowland area near the mountain front. As a result, the channel shifts laterally to the area where deposition is initiated and builds up another zone close to the mountain front and adjacent to the first aggraded area due to aggradation...

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