ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Braiding and Alluvial Fans
- Braiding occurs typically during the dry season when a river’s discharge is greatly reduced.
- The river may be split into several channels which rejoin and split again.
- These are known as braided river channels.
- Rivers with heavy loads becomes overloaded in the dry season when the amount of water falls in the dry seasons.
- As the amount of water and thus its capacity to carry the load is reduced deposition takes place in the form of sand banks and alluvium islands causing a channel to braid.
- In order to continue flowing the river splits into smaller channels that continuously split and rejoin.
- Braiding is the process by which a river diverges and converges into a series of segments separated by channel bars
- A braided river can be both wide and shallow.
- Although it mostly occurs in the floodplain braiding is by no means limited there.
- Human activities such as streambank cultivation and gold panning can lead to the choking of the river due to excessive siltation and thus result in braiding.
- Decreased discharge in Winter months leads to river braiding in most of Southern Africa’s rivers including Zimbabwe.
- These are cone or fan shaped features composed of alluvium that form as a tributary descends down the bluffs onto the flood plain.
- Deposition occurs at the point where the steep bluff merges with a flat plain leading to reduced velocity.
- They also occur when a river descends into a flat area from an escarpment or the edge of a rift valley.
To view more landforms formed by river processes go to this page.
To access more topics go to the Geography Notes page.