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More about real streams

Meandering is produced by both erosion and deposition of sediment.

Riffles (straight sections between bends) and point bars (on the inside of a meander bend) are places where sediment is deposited and temporarily stored. Pools and cutbanks (on the outside of a bend) are places where sediment is eroded or removed. Stream erosion and deposition generally occur during periods of flooding. An imaginary line connecting the deepest parts of a stream channel is called a thalweg.

Move your mouse cursor over the points marked "X" on the left diagram to find descriptions of some of the features of a meandering stream. Then respond to the questions below by matching the red letter in the image on the right with its corresponding term.


Herd Creek, Idaho: View in the downstream direction during low discharge.

1. riffle
A B C D E F G

5. cutbank on left bank
A B C D E F G

2. upstream pool
A B C D E F G

6. point bar on right bank
A B C D E F G

3. downstream pool
A B C D E F G

7. point bar on left bank
A B C D E F G

4. cutbank on right bank
A B C D E F G

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