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Major Water Etc. Development Projects

  • Keynote Paper

Abstract

Each of the main land-masses of the world is largely divided piecemeal into catchment areas of drainage systems supplying major rivers, the example of Africa being illustrated in Fig. i. A river may be defined as a mixture of water, rock detritus, and other materials, flowing in a channel having pro-gressively lower levels. Strahler (1951) quotes from John Playfair’s Law (published in 1802): ‘Every river appears to consist of a main trunk, fed from a variety of branches, each running in a valley proportioned to its size, and all of them together forming a system of valleys connecting with one another, and having such a nice adjustment of their declivities that none of them joins the principal valley either on too high or too low a level; a circumstance which would be infinitely improbable if each of these valleys were not the work of the stream which flows in it.’ This statement comprises three main points: (1) valleys are proportioned in size to streams flowing in them, (2) stream junctions are accordant in level, and (3) therefore, valleys are carved by streams flowing in them.

Keywords

Aquatic Weed Nile Basin Environmental Future Volta Lake Archaeological Monument 
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© Nicholas Polunin 1972

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