Q:

What are the physical characteristics of a river?

A:

A river is characterized by continuously flowing water from an upland source into lakes, wetlands or the sea. Rivers are fed by tributary streams or springs, and they include a river channel, shoreline and a floodplain.

Know More

Full Answer

All rivers have a river bed, which all differ from one another. Some rivers have beds filled with boulders and gravel, while others have beds that are either sandy and flat or muddy and full of weeds. River beds provide an essential habitat for the fish and animals that reside in the rivers. Alongside every river is a shoreline, and somewhere along the shoreline, there is a floodplain. A floodplain is the area where the river ends up when it has more water than it can hold in its channel. Floodplains are broad, flat areas that play an important role when it comes to nutrient cycling within a river, according to The Encycolpedia of Earth.

Some rivers have dams, which are built to control flood waters and/or produce hydroelectric power. A reservoir will hold the waters from a flood away from the dam until those waters can be slowly released. The water is released when the flow of the river is low, according to The Encyclopedia of Earth.

Learn more in Bodies of Water

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are lakes formed?

    A:

    Lakes form due to receding glaciers, plate tectonics, volcanism, meandering rivers, landslides and human damming. Most of the natural lakes in North America formed due to glaciers receding from the last ice age 18,000 years ago. Crater Lake in Oregon formed because of a volcano, when its cone on top collapsed. An oxbow lake is created after a river swells due to excess rain and then waters recede.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long is the river Ganges?

    A:

    According to About.com, the length of the Ganges is 1,569 miles. The river's source is where the Bhagirathi river emerges from the Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayas; the Ganges forms where the Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda river.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the names of the Finger Lakes?

    A:

    The 11 Finger Lakes are located in Western New York state, according to FingerLakes.com. Named for its appearance as long, narrow bodies of water stretched out like giant fingers between Lake Ontario in the north to Pennsylvania in the south, the Finger Lakes region covers over 9,000 square miles. From east to west, the Finger Lakes are Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which of the five Great Lakes is farthest east?

    A:

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Lake Ontario is the farthest east of all the Great Lakes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identifies Ontario as the smallest of those five lakes, just behind its next-door neighbor, Lake Erie.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore