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River Patterns



River Patterns
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.49

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    annular, dendritic, leaf-shaped, recede, trellis, concentric, racket, radial, drainage, bedrock, floodplains, oxbow, spokes, magma, circular, radiate


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River Patterns
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     What is wet and always running? It isn't soggy mechanical sneakers; it's a river! The rivers of the world have one thing in common- they are always flowing. However, did you know that there are different types of river channel patterns and river drainage patterns? Drainage patterns are patterns rivers form when their water drains into larger bodies of water, like oceans. Let's take a "plunge" into the world of rivers.
 
2     The most uncommon formation or pattern is a straight river. Most rivers do not have straight river banks or sides. When banks happen to be straight, the water in the deepest part of the river moves from side to side along the river bottom. Sediment is deposited on both sides, and eventually, this forms bars of sediments. As a result, shallow areas and deep pools begin to develop in the river. The most common types of rivers are meandering, oxbow, and braided.
 
3     Meandering rivers usually flow on the floors of valleys. A meander is a sharp loop or bend in a stream's course. Imagine a snake gliding along a sandy path. If you were to view a meandering river from the sky, it would look like a wet snake gliding along the valley floor. As the water flows through curves on the deepest part of the channel, the water flowing on the outside of the curve moves faster than the water on the inside of the curve. The difference between the speeds on the inside and outside curves causes sediment to form. The sediment builds up the inside bank making it move toward the river. The water gradually erodes or wears away the outside bank.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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