Trivia

Hard

Which Of The Following Lake Types Is Formed By A Meandering River?

Epishelf
Eolic
Oxbow
Rift
The Oxbow, an 1836 oil painting of the Connecticut River by Thomas Cole.
Thomas Cole/Wikimedia

Answer: Oxbow

Most natural rivers are fairly meandering—they flow across the landscape in a wandering pattern that, in extreme cases, resembles a snake slithering in tight formation. In some cases, this meandering persists for the life of the river. The Colorado River, for example, slices through the Grand Canyon with massive U-shaped curves and, thanks to the depth of the canyon and the heavy rock in its way, will continue to do so for the indefinite future.

In other cases, however, when the meander is particularly wide and the water from the main current of the river is fast moving, the meander itself can be cut off from the main flow of the river by the effects of uneven erosion and soil deposit. In such cases, the river’s course, in a manner of speaking, corrects itself, and the large and slow moving body of water found in the meander forms a large and curved lake. These lakes, bodies of water orphaned from the river that created them, are called “oxbow” lakes due to their resemblance to the bow pins of the oxbows worn by oxen back when they were used for agriculture and wagon pulling.

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