Project 366 – Post No. 242 – Erosion and collapse at the creek side

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Along a stretch of the Whitemud Creek (south of the Whitemud), along a bend in the creek that is off the beaten trail I came across a long swath of the bank that had recently collapsed due to erosion. This bank is on the outside of the loop and is referred to as a cut bank. Cut banks are often vertical bank or cliff that forms where the outside of a meander cuts into the floodplain or valley wall of a river or stream. Cut banks are under constant erosion due to helicoidal flow (cork-screw-like flow) of the water in the meander. As the cut bank is undermined by erosion, it commonly collapses as slumps into the river channel. One consequence of this constant erosion and regular collapses is that the tree roots are often exposed and undercut, eventually leading the trees to fall into the river. The ice covered creek was covered by the remains of trees that must have fallen onto the ice over the last few days, shattering upon impact. It was quite a dramatic sight illustrating that the Whitemud Ravine is in constant flux and that things can change rapidly in nature.

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