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Meandering Rivers

Besides carrying water in a straight current or a braided current, a river also meanders. This image shows a river channel which twists and turns as the river meanders across a valley. A river will carve a sizeable valley for itself as it wanders. This shallow valley, or plain as shown in the image to the left, is called a floodplain.

A river carrys water and sediments downstream on its way to its final destination, the ocean. As it flows downstream it will carve a large channel for itself into the ground. During certain stages, such as during a flood, it will have to carry more water downstream. Then it will overflow the original channel which is carved into the ground, and may carve a completely new channel into the ground which takes a shorter path downstream. In the image to the left, the river could potentially cut the corners of the "bow-shaped" section in the middle of the picture, and seems to have done so in the past. A river does not always take the shortest path downstream, however. There seems to be little logic in how the waters will move.


A meandering river.
Click on image for full size version (50K JPG)
Image from: C. Alexander

Return to the Water Cycle

Rivers Image Archive


Meandering Rivers

Besides carrying water in a straight current or a braided current, a river also meanders. This image shows a river channel which twists and turns as the river meanders across a valley. A river will carve a sizeable valley for itself as it wanders. This shallow valley, or plain as shown in the image to the left, is called a floodplain.

A river carrys water and sediments downstream on its way to its final destination, the ocean. As it flows downstream it will carve a large channel for itself into the ground. During certain stages, such as during a flood, it will have to carry more water downstream. Then it will overflow the original channel which is carved into the ground, and may carve a completely new channel into the ground which takes a shorter path downstream. In the image to the left, the river could potentially cut the corners of the "bow-shaped" section in the middle of the picture, and seems to have done so in the past. A river does not always take the shortest path downstream, however. There seems to be little logic in how the waters will move.


A meandering river.
Click on image for full size version (50K JPG)
Image from: C. Alexander

Return to the Water Cycle

Rivers Image Archive


Meandering Rivers

This image shows a river channel which twists and turns as the river meanders across a valley. A river will carve a sizeable valley for itself as it wanders. This shallow valley, or plain as shown in the image to the left, is called a floodplain.

A river carrys water and sediments downstream on its way to its final destination, the ocean. As it flows downstream it will carve a large channel for itself into the ground. During certain stages, such as during a flood, it will have to carry more water downstream. Then it will overflow the original channel which is carved into the ground, and may carve a completely new channel into the ground which takes a shorter path downstream. In the image to the left, the river could potentially cut the corners of the "bow-shaped" section in the middle of the picture. A river does not always take the shortest path downstream, however. There seems to be little logic in how the waters will move.


A meandering river.
Click on image for full size version (50K JPG)
Image from: C. Alexander

Return to the Water Cycle

Rivers Image Archive



Last modified February 15, 1998 by the Windows Team

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