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Aerial view of river meanders and ox-bow lake

Aerial view of river meanders and ox-bow lake

E540/0018

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Credit

DR. ROBERT SPICER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. ROBERT SPICER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

River meanders. Aerial view of a meandering river and ox-bow lakes. A meander is caused when there is a slight bend in the river. The water flowing around the outside of the bend flows faster than the water going around the inside. The faster water tends to erode the river bank more quickly whilst the slower water will deposit sediment that it is carrying. The bend of the meander becomes more exaggerated until there is only a narrow neck of land. Eventually the river cuts through the neck and the meander is left isolated from the river's flow. It is then known as an ox-bow lake. Photographed in Alaska, USA.

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