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The River Severn

A Key Stage 2 Resource for Rivers and Coasts

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Meanders - Ox Bow Lake

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The formation of an ox-bow lake

Over time meanders become tighter, until the ends become very close together. As the river breaks through and the ends join, the loop is cut-off from the main channel.

drawing of a meanderdrawing showing erosion and depositiondrawing of ox-bow lake

The cut-off loop is called an oxbow lake. The photos below show the part of the meander that has been cut off on a meander near Casersws.

The google map below shows a meander near Caersws. Compare the aerial view with map view and also with my photos taken in April 2009 (seen on the next few pages).

View Ox-bow lake near Caersws in a larger map

next pagephotos

The old rived bed is now part of the ox-bow lake.

Key vocabulary

When the speed of a river decreases it has less energy to carry its load, so it drops it (deposits it).

The material that is carried by a river and then deposited.

Erosion is the wearing away of sides and bottom of the rivers by the force of the water, and material carried by the water.


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