The Student Room Group

ASAP formation of meanders

i have a test tomorrow about this
can someone explain step by step how meanders form
some sources say its when there is an obstruction or when lateral erosion moves left and right causing bends and others say its when the gradient becomes flatter.
Hey there!

Here’s how I would phrase a 4 marker on the formation of meanders (I recently had a test on this too)
- Meanders are bends in a rivers course, commonly found on a flood plain.
- The flow of water ‘swings’ from side to side directing the line of maximum velocity and force of water towards the outside of the bend.
- Resulting in lateral erosion by undercutting and an outer steel bank is formed (river cliff)
- On the inside of the bend, velocity & force is less so deposition occurs forming a slip off slope and the material being deposited is a point bar.

This can definitely seem overwhelming - It was for me too, but I would recommend applying these ideas to scenarios you can imagine.
Imagine you are sitting on a water slide
Will you travel faster on the inside or on the outer end?
- The outer bit [it’s the hélicoïdal flow - not needed] i.e., it’s just wave physics.
From there it’s a bit of memorising but picture diagrams

Hope this helps!

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