Oxbow Lakes

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 in The Biology of Nature | No Comments

I will write about the evolution of oxbow lakes. Oxbow lakes are formed when a river creates a meander. The river bends, causing this formation. They are named for their curved shape and alludes to the form of a yoke used for oxen. They normally form naturally, but sometimes are artificially created.

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Lakes are formed through an orderly succession over time. This applies to these type of lakes as well. They are created over a long period of time when river erosion and deposits of soil wears through the bank between bends of a river. Water will then travel through the newly created channel. Then, the old bend is cut out . Water will slowly flow through it, causing sediment from the river water to settle on top of the old bend’s riverbed. When much sediment settles in the old bend over a period of time, the newly formed channel is closed off from the river. This is how an oxbow lake is formed.

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Source: Constantine, Jose and Dunne, Thomas. “Meander cutoff and the controls on the production of oxbow lakes”. Geology, January 2008

MBGnet article: http://www.mbgnet.net/fresh/lakes/oxbow.htm

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