Questions tagged [rivers]

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70
votes
17answers
34k views

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

I'm curious if there are any saltwater rivers on Earth. These would presumably arise if a saltwater lake had a river outlet to the ocean. However, all the saltwater lakes I looked at (Caspian Sea, ...
30
votes
4answers
34k views

Is it possible for rivers to freeze completely and stop flowing?

Is it possible for rivers to freeze completely in the winter and stop flowing? Are there known examples of this? If yes, how large can these rivers be and where does the water go? There are several ...
25
votes
1answer
741 views

How can the following equations for meandering rivers be theoretically obtained?

It has been observed that the shape of a meandering river is roughly circular, not sinusoidal (Leopold and Wolman 1960). It has also been observed that the following mathematical relationships tends ...
23
votes
3answers
22k views

Why are alpine river water green - blue?

I recently visited Slovenia where I saw several rivers with a strong blue-green color. Here is an example from one of the tributaries of the Soča river near Kobarid. The locals refer to it as an "...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Where do rivers like the Rio de la Plata end and the ocean begin?

We just had visitors (in Monterey, California) from Montevideo, Uruguay. Not being very familiar with Uruguay, after having taken them to Big Sur, I asked them how far they lived from the ocean. ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How does a meandering river form?

I read this explanation about rivers: "As the river erodes laterally, to the right side then the left side, it forms large bends, and then horseshoe-like loops called meanders" Why does the river ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How do long rivers exist?

I was recently on a long-haul flight over Siberia and it struck me as rather remarkable that something like the Lena River could exist. It seems very surprising that there's a route from some random ...
15
votes
2answers
562 views

How and why do these tree-like river structures form?

I noticed these detailed tree-like river structures in Google Earth Google Maps link How and why do these form? Rivers don't typically split. What would cause the water to keep branching off again ...
14
votes
1answer
116 views

Does Contwoyto Lake empty into both Bathurst Inlet and Chantrey Inlet?

Contwoyto Lake is a large lake in northwestern Nunavut. Descriptions of it say that its primary outlet leads to Bathurst Inlet. Does the lake also have an outlet that leads to Chantrey Inlet, ...
13
votes
2answers
9k views

Do rivers/creeks flow underground when they dry up at the surface?

In my local area there is a creek which dries up completely in the summer and is flowing strongly in the winter. Is it the case that, at the location where the creek dries up, it continues flowing ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Where does the Amazon River really begin?

Where is the true source of the River Amazon? Searching Wikipedia, it suggests the River Apurímac has traditionally been considered the source. However, Google says it is the River Mantaro. In other ...
12
votes
1answer
503 views

What causes the different colours of the salt pits in the Saloum Delta in Senegal

What causes the different colours of the salts pits in the Saloum Delta in Senegal?
11
votes
1answer
464 views

The river or the hills; which came first?

On the upper Mississippi in Illinois and southern Wisconsin, the river is bounded by hills and bluffs which define the outer edges of the flood plain. There are similar configurations for some of ...
11
votes
1answer
196 views

Lake outflow forming a “reverse delta”?

While rivers often form a delta when they flow into a lake, the outflow of a lake is usually a single stream. Are there lakes where the water flows off in multiple channels that merge into a single ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How old is Casiquiare canal?

Casiquiare canal is the world's largest bifurcation. Since such a large bifurcation seems unlikely to be produced and even less likely to stay for centuries, I wonder how old it is and why all the ...
11
votes
1answer
216 views

Minimum flow duration curves

It is common to prepare flow duration curves from a set of daily river flow data, but does it make sense to build a flow duration curve from a set of monthly minimum flow data? I searched on internet, ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Undersea riverbeds?

On a meandering bit of research through Wikipedia, I was looking at the Google Maps location of Texas Tower 4. South-east of that location there is what looks like a river valley under the ocean. If ...
10
votes
1answer
79 views

Rocks sparking under water

I have searched for an answer to this question for years, to verify if it was true. A man that lived on a river in the rugged part of the northern Washington Cascades told me an interesting story. He ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How are minor tributaries of a river determined?

What are the criteria to determine if river A is a major or minor tributary to another River B? Is stream order the only deciding factor i.e. the highest order is the main stem, one less order is a ...
10
votes
1answer
543 views

What's the geological period of the birth of the river Ganges?

Avatarana or Descent of the Ganges (extracted from Wikipedia): "In late May or early June every year, Hindus celebrate the avatarana or descent of the Ganges from heaven to earth." There are ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

Is there a special name for along-course elevation profiles of rivers, and where you can you find them?

Was discussing the terrain and rivers of Europe today with my father and it became apparent that a graph of the elevation versus course of a river would offer interesting insight, including a quick ...
9
votes
1answer
309 views

When calculating flood recurrence intervals, do you use annual instantaneous peak flows?

I would like to calculate the bankfull flow for a certain point on a river. The recurrence interval of bankfull flow varies for different rivers, but is typically always found to be between 1 and 2 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the temperature of the flowing water in icy river?

Boundaries of the question: The question is about rivers where water flows in cold area of the earth. Whether it's because of the winter or it's simply cold all year long. Usually, the top layer of ...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

Continental collision – evidence left of river mouths and estuaries along the boundary?

Are there any examples of now completely landlocked former river mouths or estuaries that became so after continental collision? As an example, consider the closure of the ocean between India and the ...
9
votes
1answer
58 views

Lab procedure for analyzing/assessing the presence of semi-volatile solids

I'm looking for a lab experiment design that shows how to measure the presence of semi-volatile solids in water (and not sludge or soil or solids). All I have found so far are chromotography/mass ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the Coriolis effect affect rivers and estuaries

I'm quite confused about this since it is said to influence major currents in the sea the winds to the formation of gyres in the ocean and as well as influencing the weather at times due to the planet'...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What are Horton's laws?

Robert E. Horton coined these four laws: the law of stream numbers, the law of stream lengths, the limits of infiltration capacity, and the runoff-detention-storage relation. What are they ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

How has river to ocean flux changed over the last 500 million years?

Do we have any rough indices of how this flux has changed? I'm particularly interested in knowing whether the flux was higher or lower during the time of Pangaea, or during the time of the unusually ...
7
votes
2answers
109 views

Could the Grand Canyon be flooded by the ocean if it got deep enough?

The Colorado River has been carving the Grand Canyon for a few million years now, such that the canyon floor is around 6000 feet lower in elevation than the surrounding area, at about 2400 feet above ...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

Why is the Yarkant River braided in the Pamir mountains?

The formation section in the braided river Wikipedia says that very erodible soil causes braided rivers. Intuitively, a rising mountain range like the Pamirs would not be easily erodible. The ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

What is the rock I found on the Delaware river yesterday?

I spotted this large striped rock found on Delaware River. Note the fossil in the first picture. What kind of rock is this?
7
votes
0answers
232 views

What's the contribution of different types of river sources? [closed]

There are different types of river sources, most people might think of springs, melting snow or glaciers, but other types of sources can include wet meadows or marshland. In terms of volume, what is ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How far upstream would severe sea level rise (1m) noticably affect a large river?

The projection for sea level rise due to global warming seem to hover about 1m by 2100, let's use this figure. How far upstream would this noticably affect a large river, e.g. the Rhine? I think it ...
5
votes
3answers
999 views

Could a massive flood have formed the Grand Canyon?

I believe that the accepted theory for how Arizona's Grand Canyon was formed was that erosion caused by the Colorado River flowing through the area over millions of years was the force at work. Yet ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How do rivers last so long in dry weather?

I got caught in a downpour while climbing a mountain and was amazed to see, as I climbed down, the tiny trickles of water combine to form mini-streams, the dry rocks I had climbed up now hosted ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

How can flood inundation vary at the same river stage?

I've always thought that river flooding would always be the same at the same river stage. For example, if the river stage is at 20' flooding at location "x" would always be at the same depth. ...
5
votes
1answer
416 views

Rivers - How to calculate maximum velocity from average velocity in a cross section

I'm studying flow velocities in a small river. I have a lot of data of average flow velocities in cross sections throughout the entire catchment. And I know the river develop a stream velocity profile ...
5
votes
0answers
96 views

Estimate the flow velocity of a river with satellite images

I'm looking for a more or less straightforward (and not very mathematical) way to roughly estimate the flow velocity of a river based on satellite imagery (e.g. Google Earth). In more detail: I would ...
4
votes
2answers
391 views

Could parallel rivers flow in opposite directions?

Some rivers have been moving backwards. This got me thinking about an unusual idea. Could there be terrain that causes two rivers, within a few miles of each other (10?), to flow in opposite ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Is it possible to infer the depth of a river from the shapes of the islands and the banks?

Look at the photo below. Presumably, the river bed is a smooth shape. Therefore, it should be possible to infer the depth of the water from the photo, right? I am not even an amateur of geo-science. ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Looking for a reference for identifing stream regimes(Intermittent, Perennial)

I'm a hydrologist with a good background in GIS. I'm looking for a reference (Methodology, Technical guide) for identification of temporary, intermittent and perennial streams. I google and only found ...
4
votes
0answers
40 views

Dealing with uncertainty in source apportionment

I have a dataset of dissolved load (major and trace elements), the associated error is specified as <10% for all the cases, in the same way I have rock analysis (major and trace) with the same ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

How did the Rhine originally look like? (before human intervention)

For personal reasons I decided to examine the shape and formation of the Rhine. Unfortunately though, the Rhine has long been diverted from its original course by human intervention, so I tried to ...
3
votes
1answer
798 views

During an average winter, what part (if any) of the Mississippi River becomes unnavigable?

What part of the Mississippi River becomes unnavigable (either freezes or accumulates too much ice to navigate) during an average winter? Perplexingly I could not find this through Google. I suppose ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Do any rivers deposit sediment in their deltas fast enough to counteract sea level rise?

Assume a 1m per century sea level rise. Looking at a topographic map it quicly becomes clear that Bengal, the Netherlands, the lower Mississippi, South American Mesopotamia, etc will all soon be ...
3
votes
2answers
55 views

Is it possible to have an AR(0) for streamflow?

Autoregressive models (AR) are extensively used to understand the behavior of streamflow. The literature abounds with examples of AR models from different families applied "everywhere" to fully ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

What is the purpose of analyzing the bed-load of a river?

A group of students and I have gone to a field trip where we performed tasks like: measuring the velocity of the river flow, finding the width and depth to produce a cross section along with valley ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

What is the source of the Big Sur river?

While hiking in the Ventana Wilderness in Big Sur, Calfornia, I kept trying to figure out one question: what is the source of the Big Sur river? Wikipedia reports its tributaries being the Redwood ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Need help identifying this cylindrical layered rock found in Bolivia

I found this rock in a tropical climate river in Bolivia (specifically Ivirgarzama). It seems to have 5 or 6 layers. 1st layer is a slightly course matte rock layer 2nd layer is a more glossy rock ...
3
votes
0answers
123 views

How does the estaurine turbidity maximum vary depending on the type of estuary?

An estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM) is the area of an estuary that has maximum values in suspended particles in the water column. My questions are What are the main characteristics of the ETM? How ...