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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Shape of a River - Geomorphology
Variables of shape (pg 1 of 2)

Geologic forces aside, the most dramatic forces shaping rivers are hydrodynamic, that is, the result of interplay between the force of moving water and the materials forming the streambed. Hydrodynamic forces form islands and sandbars, grade rapids and riffles, create deltas, and form-and eliminate-meanders.

The form of a stream channel depends on the interaction of eight variables, which are determined by climate and the geology of the area:

  • Discharge (the volume of water)
  • Sediment supply
  • Sediment size
  • Channel width
  • Channel depth
  • Water velocity
  • Slope (or gradient)
  • Roughness of channel materials

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Introduction
Flow
Shape
Description
Variables
Bankfull flows
Classification
Sediment
Patterns
Slope
Habitat
Change
Consequences
Stories
Connections
Quality
Life
Summary
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