25 terms

Stream Vocabulary

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Base level
The lowest point of a river, often the sea
Channel
The part of a river that carries the water
Delta
Alluvium deposited where the river meets a body of water
Dendritic pattern
Shape of a river and tributaries similar to a tree
Headward erosion
Tributaries getting longer by eroding more upstream
Downcutting
The erosion that makes a stream valley deeper
Flood plain
A wide area of alluvium on either side of a stream channel
Incised meander
A deep-sided curving part of a rejuvenated river
Lateral erosion
Erosion that results from a meander hitting a valley wall
Meander
A curved part of a river on a flood plain
Natural levee
Gravel deposited on either side of a stream channel
Point bar
Alluvium deposited on the inside of a meander
Pothole
A depression eroded by abrasion
Slot canyon
Formed when a river cuts a canyon through a ridge
Stream terrace
A raised abandoned flood plain
Superposed stream
A river that erodes through resistant rock layers, creating a gap
Suspended load
Silt and clay carried by a river
Trellis pattern
The shape of a river and its tributaries along parallel ridges
Tributary
A small stream flowing into a large stream
Yazoo stream
A tributary that flows along a flood plain for a distance
Slope retreat
A stream valley becoming wider because of mass wasting
Discharge
Found by channel area x water velocity
Dissolved load
The soluble substances transported by a stream
Oxbow lake
Forms from a meander being cut off
Radial pattern
The pattern made by rivers flowing from a single mountain