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Braided rivers

Some rivers have lots of small channels that continually split and join. These are called braided rivers. Braided rivers are usually wide but shallow. They form on fairly steep slopes and where the river bank is easily eroded.

The banks of this braided river are easily eroded because there are very few plants.  Ellesmere Island, Canadian high arctic. © Abigail Burt

When it rains really hard you can find little braided rivers flowing across building sites and paths made of sand or fine gravel.

Braided rivers have a lot of rock Larry, gravel and sand that is carried along the river bottom. When the amount of water William flowing through individual channels deceases the river dumps this material creating islands and bars.

Gravel bars in a braided river.  Martial Glacier, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. © Abigail Burt Gravel bars in the braided Waimakariri River, South Island, New Zealand. © Richard Burt


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