An oxbow lake forms when a curve, or meander, in a river pinches shut. The river follows a new, shorter course and a lake forms beside the river.Continue Reading
Oxbow lakes form when a river has two curves, one bending away from the straight course and another bending back. The banks of the curves closest to one another - the concave banks - are prone to erosion from the force of water flowing against them. Over time, this erosion causes the curves to pinch together. The river now flows along a shorter, straighter course and an oxbow lake sits beside the river. Oxbow lakes form most often near the river's confluence with a larger body of water and on low-lying plains.
Oxbows are stillwater lakes, meaning there is no inflow or outflow of water. Since no streams feed the lake and no water leaves, oxbows often become marshes or bogs and can even dry up entirely if water evaporates. Former oxbow lakes are excellent agricultural land. Both as lakes and as bogs, oxbows provide rich habitat for wildlife. Oxbows can also be formed due to human intervention. Engineers shortening the Mississippi River formed many oxbows lakes that later evaporated, creating fertile land for farming.Learn more about Bodies of Water
A river delta forms by the deposition of sediments from the river when it slows to join a larger body of water. Relatively fast-moving rivers can carry huge amounts of sediment eroded from their banks, with the speed of their flow keeping the sediments from settling to the river bottom. When the river joins an ocean or other body, the slowing of the water allows the sediment to settle.Full Answer >
The source, or beginning, of a river is typically in a high area, such as a hilly or mountainous region. Several different bodies of water are possible sources for rivers, including springs, lakes and bogs.Full Answer >
According to About.com, the length of the Ganges is 1,569 miles. The river's source is where the Bhagirathi river emerges from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas; the Ganges forms where the Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda river.Full Answer >
According to About.com, mature rivers are bodies of water that flow over wider valleys and snake along flat plains. The meandering streams then create larger loops that develop into oxbow lakes.Full Answer >