Stream - Parts of A Stream

Parts of A Stream

Bar
A shoal that develops at the mouth of a river as sediment carried by the river is deposited as the current slows or is impedded by wave action. The Temperance River on Lake Superior's north shore is so named because it is one of the few rivers flowing into the lake that does not have a bar at its mouth.
Spring
The point at which a stream emerges from an underground course through unconsolidated sediments or through caves. A stream can, especially with caves, flow aboveground for part of its course, and underground for part of its course.
Source
The spring from which the stream originates, or other point of origin of a stream.
Headwaters
The part of a stream or river proximate to its source. The word is most commonly used in the plural where there is no single point source.
Confluence
The point at which the two streams merge. If the two tributaries are of approximately equal size, the confluence may be called a fork.
Bifurcation
A fork into two or more streams.
Run
A somewhat smoothly flowing segment of the stream.
Pool
A segment where the water is deeper and slower moving.
Riffle
A segment where the flow is shallower and more turbulent.
Channel
A depression created by constant erosion that carries the stream's flow.
Floodplain
Lands adjacent to the stream that are subject to flooding when a stream overflows its banks.
Stream bed
The bottom of a stream.
Gauging station
A point of demarkation along the route of a stream or river, used for reference marking or water monitoring.
Thalweg
The river's longitudinal section, or the line joining the deepest point in the channel at each stage from source to mouth.
Wetted perimeter
The line on which the stream's surface meets the channel walls.
Knickpoint
The point on a stream's profile where a sudden change in stream gradient occurs.
Waterfall or cascade
The fall of water where the stream goes over a sudden drop called a nickpoint; some nickpoints are formed by erosion when water flows over an especially resistant stratum, followed by one less so. The stream expends kinetic energy in "trying" to eliminate the nickpoint.
Mouth
The point at which the stream discharges, possibly via an estuary or delta, into a static body of water such as a lake or ocean.

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