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Meanders

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Meanders

Meanders

When the stream flows in a plain it widens its valley instead of deepening it. The course of a stream is neither plain nor composed of rocks of similar resistance. The stream, therefore, cannot flow in straight course. Main loop like bends and turns are common in the courses, of stream. The stream erodes rapidly against the con cave sides of the stream. There is a 1ot of under cutting by the currents of the stream. The hanging portion above the under cutting collapses. This process steepens the slope on this side. On the other hand, the stream flows with a low speed on con vex side and therefore it does more deposition than erosion. This makes the slope gentler. The shape, which develops a1ong the stream, is called Spur. When the Spurs from both the sides of the stream come close to one another, they are known as Interlocking Spurs. These bends and turns, as a result of deposition increases in sizes. These bends are known as river meanders.



On account of the concave nature of the meanders the slopes on this sides are very steep and are known as escarpments slopes while the slopes of low gradients on the convex sides are called slip-of-slopes.

The stream gradually abandons its bend. The abandoned bend due to very short supply of water begins to be filled up with sand with gravels. At the time of flood, these bends are filled with water for a short time. Hence, the abandoned course of meanders becomes marshy and is known as Oxbow Lake.



The cutting of meanders is an automatic process, which does not allow the stream-meanders to be unduly large. Due to the formation and destruction of meanders, the valley is enlarged and the stream tends towards graded condition.

When a part of the course of the stream is uplifted the meanders create deeper cuttings in the raised portion of the abeam. Such meanders are known as incised Meanders.

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