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.


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.


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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