Project 366 – Post No. 217 – Meandering creek

What is Project 366? Read more here!

A meandering creek (or river) is a a creek characterized by a series of regular sinuous curves, bends, loops, turns or windings in the watercourse. A meander is produced by the river as it erodes the sediments of an outer (or concave) bank and deposits this and other sediments downstream on an inner (or convex) bank. The concave side of a meander is often referred to as a cut bank and the convex side as a point bank. Over time the result is the formation of a meandering course as the channel migrates back and fort across the direction of the floodplain. There is a whole lot of physics and math behind the formation, dynamics, size and shape of the meanders. The Whitemud Creek is meandering its way through the Whitemud Ravine and the erosion that takes place during this process is very noticeable on a seasonal basis. Particularly the cut banks seem to be advancing at a very fast pace with lots of trees succumbing and falling into the river as sections of the bank collapse into the creek. I am sure the busy work of beavers – i.e. removing trees – accelerates this erosion process. We humans are not, however, idle. In an effort to control the erosion and the ever-shifting course of the creek large swats of cut banks are covered in rocks, mesh and planted with fast growing plants. In today’s picture you can see a cut bank covered in sizable rocks in an effort to reduce the erosion and stabilize the bank. It seems, however, that most of these efforts only postpone the inevitable and it seems to be a loosing battle. The combined force of the beavers and the flow of the water is mighty.

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.