riversPrimary Homework Help


by Mandy Barrow

This site uses cookies. See our Cookie Policy for information

Features of a River

River Severn
| River Thames

Our River Severn pages have many photos of the features of rivers. Follow ths link


As a river flows, the force of its moving water washes away loose soil and pieces of rock. In this way the river cuts its own channel in the ground. The process of wearing away rocks is called erosion.

Click here to read more erosion


A gorge is a steep-sided river valley which is very narrow and deep.

Click here to find out more about gorges


A meander is a bend in a river.


Meanders normally occur in the middle and lower courses where the water is moving more slowly. The river carves out S-shaped bends.

Follow this link to read about and see meanders on the River Severn

Ox-bow Lakes

Find out more about ox-bow lakes on our River Severn pages


At its mouth, the river flows into another body of water. The mouth may be where the river meets the sea, a lake or a larger waterway. Most rivers flow out into the sea, and this is where they end their journey.

Mouth of the River Severn

Mouth of the River Thames


If a river has a wide mouth, this is called an estuary. An estuary has a mixture of salty and fresh water. The fresh water from the river extends out into the sea. Some of the salty water from the sea travels up the river mouth. This mixture of salt and fresh water is called brackish water.

The river carries a lot of sediment as it travels from its source to its mouth. When the fresh water from the river meets the salty water from the sea, the river drops its sediment. Most is then washed away by the sea, the river and the tides.

The Thames Barrier

Click here to find out more about the Thames Barrier


A dam is a barrier (wall) of earth, concrete or rock built across a river to restrict the flow of water.

Click here to find out about dams


A weir is an artificial wall built across a river in order to make the river deeper.

Click here to find out more about weirs

A Lock

A lock and weir system is needed where the river bed is steep and the water flows too quickly.

Click here to learn more about locks

Flood Plain

The floodplain is the flat land of the river valley close to the river banks. The floodplain is usually found in the lower course of a river. It is a fertile area of land, used for agriculture and growing crops.
See flooding


Click here for more features of a river

back to the top
email© Copyright - please read
All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the author Mandy Barrow.

©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

Follow me on Twitter @mbarrow