Anabranches at the junction of the Yukon River and the Koyukuk River in Alaska, August 24, 1941.
Anabranches at the junction of the Yukon River and the Koyukuk River in Alaska, August 24, 1941.

An anabranch is a section of a river or stream that diverts from the main channel or stem of the watercourse and rejoins the main stem downstream. Local anabranches can be the result of small islands in the watercourse. In larger anabranches, the flow can diverge for a distance of several kilometers before rejoining the main channel.

Word usage and related terms

The term anabranch, in its hydrological meaning, is used more frequently in Australia than in the rest of the English-speaking world.

The term anabranching river describes a river with many anabranches, whilst an anastomosing river is an organic-rich subset of this river type.[1]

The term braided river describes watercourses which are divided by small islands into multiple channel threads within a single main channel, but the term does not describe the multiple channels of an anabranching river.

A distributary is a branch of a river that does not rejoin the main channel; these are common on and near river deltas.

A bayou is often an anabranch.

An anabranch that gets cut off from the main channel becomes an oxbow lake.

Examples

References

  1. ^ North, Colin P. (2007). "Recognition of the Sedimentary Architecture of Dryland Anabranching (Anastomosing) Rivers". Journal of Sedimentary Research. 77 (11): 925–938. Bibcode:2007JSedR..77..925N. doi:10.2110/jsr.2007.089.
  2. ^ Alvarado Ortega, Manuel (2008). Río Magdalena, navegación marítima y fluvial (1986-2008). Universidad del Norte. ISBN 9789588252667.
  3. ^ NSW Office of Water – "Darling Anabranch" Archived October 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Charters Towers North Queensland". visitcharterstowers.com.au.