How are floodplains formed?

Answer

The Center for Earth and Environmental Science describes that floodplains are formed as rivers erode their own banks. Floodplains are the flat lands that lie adjacent to a river; they encompass the area that floods when the river's water level rises. As the river flows, it washes material downstream. When a flood occurs, this material is resuspended in the water and added to the floodplain.

According to The Center for Earth and Environmental Science, the ground underlying floodplains is largely composed of layers of silt, sand and mud. These layers are formed by periods of flooding, during which sediment is deposited on the floodplain, according to University of North Texas. During periods of flooding, some water is also absorbed by the floodplain soils. This prevents the flood from spreading further into the surrounding lands and causing erosion. This reserved water returns to the river during periods of lower water.

Floodplains are important to the natural environment for several reasons. According to The Center for Earth and Environmental Science, they provide habitats for numerous unique species of plants and animals. They also reduce the severity of floods and their effects on human developments, filter storm water and minimize water pollution from non-point sources.

Q&A Related to "How are floodplains formed?"
Flooding is the result of rainfall that exceeds the absorptive capacity of soil and the flow capacity of a channel. Terms like 5-year flood or 25-year flood describe the frequency
http://www.ehow.com/about_6164268_floodplain-forme...
The amount of water being transported in a particular stream at any given time varies with weather conditions. Sometimes, more water pours into a stream than the banks of the stream
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_process_are_...
In the cycle of stream erosion, mature streams develop floodplains as a result of the merging together of many sand bars. This low, broad surface that floods during heavy stream flow
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=201111...
Even though clouds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common: water. Without water, there would be no clouds. Clouds form when water evaporates from
http://www.life123.com/parenting/education/weather...
1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: how are floodplains formed
How Is a Floodplain Formed?
A floodplain is a natural valley floor composed of sediment that is subject to flooding from an adjacent river or stream. The body of water may be of any size. However, areas near large rivers have larger floodplains. The Mississippi River, for instance,... More »
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