ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Ox-bow lakes
- An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water.
- This landform is so named for its distinctive curved shape, resembling the bow pin of an oxbow.
Development of Ox-bow lakes
- Ox-bow lakes form when an acute meander leaves a narrow neck separating the two ends of a meander.
- Active lateral erosion takes place on the outside bends and break through this neck especially during floods.
- In flood the cut ends are sealed off by deposition and the meaner becomes an ox-bow lake.
- The banks are steadily raised by depositions resulting tin the river lying above the level of the lake.
- The lakes gradually lose water as vegetation and sediment fill them up.
To learn more about landforms resulting from river processes go to this page.
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