Meanders, Owens River, near Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Extreme U-bend in a stream, usually occurring in a series, that is caused by flow characteristics of the water. Meanders form in stream-deposited sediments and may stack up upstream of an obstruction, resulting in a gooseneck or extremely bowed meander. A cutoff may form through the gooseneck and allow the former meander bend to be sealed off as an oxbow lake
. Silt deposits may eventually fill the lake to form a marsh
or a meander scar.
Learn more about meander with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.