The Long Profile

The long profile of a river shows changes in the height (altitude) of the course of a river from its source to its mouth. A long profile is usually concave and the slope becomes more gentle towards the mouth of the river. Long profiles usually have irregularities such as waterfalls or lakes. Rejuvenation also creates knick points (more on this later).

The video below provides a simple reminder of the changes that occur along the long profile of a river.

Erosion, transportation and deposition changes over the course of a river. The interactive diagram below summarises the changes in these processes, the landforms that are typically found and the valley cross profile characteristics.