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What are rivers?

Valleys

Valleys

The valleys are one of the most prominent features of the rivers and one of the most common landforms on the planet. The valleys are the result of the erosional power of water.

Lost rivers

Lost rivers

Lost rivers are Dinaric streams in karst, limestone landscape that disappear in the underground. They often flow in karst plains.

Deltas – where river is pushing to the sea

Deltas – where river is pushing to the sea

Deltas are the mouth of the rivers to the sea with vast sediment deposits. They are vital, both for wildlife and for people.

Floodplains – equally important as main river channel

Floodplains – equally important as main river channel

Floodplains are an integral part of the riverine systems. It is hydrologically connected to the main river channel but was historically neglected. Much of the world floodplains have been reduced or disconnected.

Meandering  – when rivers snake in the landscape

Meandering  – when rivers snake in the landscape

Meandering is common in the rivers in the lower reaches of the rivers, where the river changes its course through time.

Braided Streams

Braided Streams

One of the most beautiful shapes of the rivers, the braided streams are wider riverbeds where the water is flowing in several channels through the sediment. It is typical for middle stretches of the rivers.

Sediment deposition

Sediment deposition

Rivers and streams deposit sediment along the entire course, in the form of the bars, floodplain deposits, deltas, and rarely alluvial fans. Sediment deposition is important for creating and resetting new habitats.  

The discharge: measuring the water flowing in the river

The discharge: measuring the water flowing in the river

The discharge of a stream is the volume of water that flows past a given point in a unit of time. Usually, we measure the world rivers by its discharge to the sea.

Sediment transport – gravel and send “flows” too

Sediment transport – gravel and send “flows” too

The water is not the only thing that moves in the stream. The sediment, sand, and gravel for example, “flow” too. This sediment transport has a profound effect on river dynamics.

How fast are rivers?

How fast are rivers?

Rivers are so diverse that there are incredible differences in the speed of the flowing, from almost stagnant lake stretches to wild rapids.