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Flow of a River - Hydrology
Stream order (pg 1 of 2)


One way of categorizing streams is by stream order. Most streams begin as springs or boggy seeps of groundwater. Some flow from lakes without an inlet. These fledgling streams are labeled first order. When a first order stream meets another first order stream, the resulting flow is a second order stream.

The second order stream picks up additional first order streams, but remains second order. Only when two second order streams meet is the result a third order stream.

As you might expect, there are vastly more small streams than large ones. In fact, there are about four (4.4) times as many streams of one order than of the next higher order. First order through third order streams make up about 85 percent of total stream miles in the United States (Waters, 2000) and (Leopold et al., 1964).


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Introduction
Flow
Description
Water cycle
Watersheds
Stream order
Factors of flow
Consequences
Stories
Shape
Connections
Quality
Life
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