Rivers and their features are a major topic in GCSE Geography. This quiz answers the question of what exactly a river is and looks at some of the features found along the course of a river, such as their sources, meanders, rapids and estuaries.
All over the world you'll find cities and towns located on the banks of rivers. We settle on the flood plains and farm the rich fertile soil; we build our cities at the furthest points inland that a ship can reach; we rely on rivers for industry, transport and power worldwide. But these geographical features that run through our history, our cultures and our civilisations have a couple of stings in their tail - floods and, in the modern world, pollution. Science and geography are now combining to return rivers to their more natural, less lethal forms.
Rivers are a key part of the water cycle. They drain the water from the land and carry it to the sea where it will be returned to the atmosphere by condensation to form rain clouds. They also form the key ecosystems for a variety of wildlife, both plants and animals. From their sources and the high oxygen environments of the rivers' upper stretches, including rapids and waterfalls, through to the slower environments of oxbow lakes, slow moving rivers and the brackish environment of the estuaries at the rivers' mouths.
Our land is shaped by rivers, carving down into solid rock and transporting sediments to the sea where they may be deposited as levees, sandbars, beaches and other forms. Our floodplains are deposited by the same rivers that wear down mountains. Julius Caesar stated that in nowhere else but Britain did the sea hold such sway over the land, and rivers have just as much importance. We are an island shaped and defined by the rivers that divide up our country. Test your knowledge of rivers, from their sources to their estuaries, by taking this quiz.