In geography, a confluence (also: conflux) occurs where two or more flowing bodies of water join together to form a single channel.A confluence can occur in several configurations: at the point where a tributary joins a larger river (main stem); or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name (such as the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers at Pittsburgh, forming the Ohio); or where two separated channels of a river (forming a river island) rejoin at the downstream end.
Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.
A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in some parts of the United States, "burn" in Scotland and northeast England, and "beck" in northern England. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague.
Confluences are studied in a variety of sciences. Hydrology studies the characteristic flow patterns of confluences and how they give rise to patterns of erosion, bars, and scour pools.The water flows and their consequences are often studied with mathematical models. Confluences are relevant to the distribution of living organisms (i.e., ecology) as well; "the general pattern [downstream of confluences] of increasing stream flow and decreasing slopes drives a corresponding shift in habitat characteristics."
Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability. A practitioner of hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of earth or environmental science, physical geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering. Using various analytical methods and scientific techniques, they collect and analyze data to help solve water related problems such as environmental preservation, natural disasters, and water management.
A mathematical model is a description of a system using mathematical concepts and language. The process of developing a mathematical model is termed mathematical modeling. Mathematical models are used in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as in the social sciences.
Ecology is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms with each other and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
Another science relevant to the study of confluences is chemistry, because sometimes the mixing of the waters of two streams triggers a chemical reaction, particularly in a polluted stream. The United States Geological Survey gives an example: "chemical changes occur when a stream contaminated with acid mine drainage combines with a stream with near-neutral pH water; these reactions happen very rapidly and influence the subsequent transport of metals downstream of the mixing zone."
Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.
Acid mine drainage, acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD), or acid rock drainage (ARD) is the outflow of acidic water from metal mines or coal mines.
A natural phenomenon at confluences that is obvious even to casual observers is a difference in color between the two streams; see images in this article for several examples. According to Lynch, "the color of each river is determined by many things: type and amount of vegetation in the watershed, geological properties, dissolved chemicals, sediments and biologic content – usually algae." Lynch also notes that color differences can persist for miles downstream before they finally blend completely.
Sediment transport is the movement of solid particles (sediment), typically due to a combination of gravity acting on the sediment, and/or the movement of the fluid in which the sediment is entrained. Sediment transport occurs in natural systems where the particles are clastic rocks, mud, or clay; the fluid is air, water, or ice; and the force of gravity acts to move the particles along the sloping surface on which they are resting. Sediment transport due to fluid motion occurs in rivers, oceans, lakes, seas, and other bodies of water due to currents and tides. Transport is also caused by glaciers as they flow, and on terrestrial surfaces under the influence of wind. Sediment transport due only to gravity can occur on sloping surfaces in general, including hillslopes, scarps, cliffs, and the continental shelf—continental slope boundary.
Algae is an informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms that are not necessarily closely related, and is thus polyphyletic. Including organisms ranging from unicellular microalgae genera, such as Chlorella and the diatoms, to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp, a large brown alga which may grow up to 50 m in length. Most are aquatic and autotrophic and lack many of the distinct cell and tissue types, such as stomata, xylem, and phloem, which are found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine algae are called seaweeds, while the most complex freshwater forms are the Charophyta, a division of green algae which includes, for example, Spirogyra and the stoneworts.
Hydrodynamic behaviour of flow in a confluence can be divided into six distinct featureswhich are commonly called confluence flow zones (CFZ). These include
Since rivers often serve as political boundaries, confluences sometimes demarcate three abutting political entities, such as nations, states, or provinces, forming a tripoint. Various examples are found in the list below.
A tripoint, trijunction, triple point, or tri-border area is a geographical point at which the boundaries of three countries or subnational entities meet.
A number of major cities, such as Chongqing, St. Louis, and Khartoum, arose at confluences; further examples appear in the list. Within a city, a confluence often forms a visually prominent point, so that confluences are sometimes chosen as the site of prominent public buildings or monuments, as in Koblenz, Lyon, and Winnipeg. Cities also often build parks at confluences, sometimes as projects of municipal improvement, as at Portland and Pittsburgh. In other cases, a confluence is an industrial site, as in Philadelphia or Mannheim. Often a confluence lies in the shared floodplain of the two rivers and nothing is built on it, for example at Manaus, described below.
One other way that confluences may be employed by humans is as a sacred place in a religion. Rogers suggests that for the ancient peoples of the Iron Age in northwest Europe, watery locations were often sacred, especially sources and confluences.Pre-Christian Slavic peoples chose confluences as the sites for fortified triangular temples, where they practiced human sacrifice and other sacred rites. In Hinduism, the confluence of two sacred rivers often is a pilgrimage site for ritual bathing. In Pittsburgh, a number of adherents to Mayanism consider their city's confluence to be sacred.
Occasionally "confluence" is used to describe the meeting of tidal or other non-riverine bodies of water, such as two canals km) portion of the Industrial Canal in New Orleans accommodates the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet Canal; therefore those three waterways are confluent there.or a canal and a lake. A one-mile (1.6
The term confluence also applies to the merger of the flow of two glaciers.
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The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
The Rhine is a European river that begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.
The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 273 miles (439 km) long, in the U.S. state of Illinois. The river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of 28,756.6 square miles (74,479 km2). The drainage basin extends into Wisconsin, Indiana, and a very small area of southwestern Michigan. This river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi. The French colonial settlements along the rivers formed the heart of the area known as the Illinois Country. After the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Hennepin Canal in the 19th century, the role of the river as link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi was extended into the era of modern industrial shipping. It now forms the basis for the Illinois Waterway.
The Moselle is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, which it joins at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Moselle through the Sauer and the Our.
The Havel is a river in north-eastern Germany, flowing through the German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin and Saxony-Anhalt. It is a right tributary of the Elbe and 325 kilometres (202 mi) long. However, the direct distance from its source to its mouth is only 94 kilometres (58 mi).
The Lahn is a 245.6-kilometer (152.6 mi)-long, right tributary of the Rhine in Germany. Its course passes through the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia (23.0 km), Hesse (165.6 km), and Rhineland-Palatinate (57.0 km).
The source or headwaters of a river or stream is the furthest place in that river or stream from its estuary or confluence with another river, as measured along the course of the river.
The Wabash River is a 503-mile-long (810 km) river in Ohio and Indiana, United States, that flows from the headwaters near the middle of Ohio's western border northwest then southwest across northern Indiana turning south along the Illinois border where the southern portion forms the Indiana-Illinois border before flowing into the Ohio River. It is the largest northern tributary of the Ohio River. From the dam near Huntington, Indiana, to its terminus at the Ohio River, the Wabash flows freely for 411 miles (661 km). Its watershed drains most of Indiana. The Tippecanoe River, White River, Embarras River and Little Wabash River are major tributaries. The river's name comes from an Illini Indian word meaning "water over white stones".
An oxbow lake is a U-shaped lake that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water. This landform is so named for its distinctive curved shape, which resembles the bow pin of an oxbow. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong, from the indigenous Wiradjuri language. In south Texas, oxbows left by the Rio Grande are called resacas.
In physical geography, a channel is a type of landform consisting of the outline of a path of relatively shallow and narrow body of fluid, most commonly the confine of a river, river delta or strait. The word is cognate to canal, and sometimes shows in this form, e.g. the Hood Canal.
A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline,, watershed, water parting or height of land is elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins. On rugged land, the divide lies along topographical ridges, and may be in the form of a single range of hills or mountains, known as a dividing range. On flat terrain, especially where the ground is marshy, the divide may be harder to discern.
The Black Fork is a principal tributary of the Cheat River in the Allegheny Mountains of eastern West Virginia, USA. It is a short stream, about four miles (6 km) in length, formed by the confluence of two other streams not far above its mouth. It was traditionally considered one of the five Forks of Cheat.
The Chicago Portage is a water gap, and in the past a sometime wind-gap portage, connecting the watersheds (BrE: drainage basins) and the navigable waterways of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It cuts through the Valparaiso and Tinley Moraines, crossing the Saint Lawrence River Divide that separates the Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence watersheds from the Gulf of Mexico watershed, making it one of the most strategic points in the interior of the North American continent. The saddle point of the gap is within the city of Chicago, and the Chicago Portage is a reason Chicago exists and has developed to become the important city that it is, ranking 7th in the world in the 2014 Global Cities Index. The official flag of the city of Chicago includes four red stars symbolizing city history, separating two blue stripes symbolizing the waters that meet at the city.
A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves, bends, loops, turns, or windings in the channel of a river, stream, or other watercourse. It is produced by a stream or river swinging from side to side as it flows across its floodplain or shifts its channel within a valley. A meander is produced by a stream or river as it erodes the sediments comprising an outer, concave bank and deposits this and other sediment downstream on an inner, convex bank which is typically a point bar. The result of sediments being eroded from the outside concave bank and their deposition on an inside convex bank is the formation of a sinuous course as a channel migrates back and forth across the down-valley axis of a floodplain. The zone within which a meandering stream shifts its channel across either its floodplain or valley floor from time to time is known as a meander belt. It typically ranges from 15 to 18 times the width of the channel. Over time, meanders migrate downstream, sometimes in such a short time as to create civil engineering problems for local municipalities attempting to maintain stable roads and bridges.
Side valleys and tributary valleys are valleys whose brooks or rivers flow into greater ones.
Streamflow, or channel runoff, is the flow of water in streams, rivers, and other channels, and is a major element of the water cycle. It is one component of the runoff of water from the land to waterbodies, the other component being surface runoff. Water flowing in channels comes from surface runoff from adjacent hillslopes, from groundwater flow out of the ground, and from water discharged from pipes. The discharge of water flowing in a channel is measured using stream gauges or can be estimated by the Manning equation. The record of flow over time is called a hydrograph. Flooding occurs when the volume of water exceeds the capacity of the channel.
A stream is a body of water with surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel. The stream encompasses surface and groundwater fluxes that respond to geological, geomorphological, hydrological and biotic controls.
The Anyangcheon is a river in Gyeonggi-do and Seoul, South Korea. It has its source on the slopes of Mount Gwanggyo in the city of Uiwang and flows north, through the city of Gunpo, where a major cleanup operation saw several species of birds return to the area in 2005. Here, though, the water table remains depleted. The river then flows through Anyang City, where it is met by its major tributary, the Hakuicheon stream. From here, it loops around to the west before continuing north to the border with Gwangmyeong City. As the river passes to the west of Mount Gwanak, it forms the border between Gwangmyeong and Seoul, where it is lined on the Gwangmyeong side with rape fields and cherry blossom trees. After the stream is joined near Guil Station from the west by the Mokgamcheon stream, which forms another border between Gwangmyeong and Seoul, it is then totally within the capital. Here, it is also joined from the east by the Dorimcheon and passes through a conservation zone for migratory birds which was established after a 2005 cleanup operation, whereafter it joins the Han. Most of the length of the river has a path alongside providing easy access, the only parts without this lying in Uiwang. Seoul City Council has embarked on a programme of exclusive cycle path creation alongside its waterways, including the Anyangcheon, to be completed in 2010.
The River Sidon is the only river mentioned by name, and is the most prominent river in the Book of Mormon. It was east of the great city of Zarahemla. There were several battles fought in and around this river. These include the battle between Captain Moroni and the Lamanite leader Zarahemna that took place between 74–56 BCE. This battle was ostensibly fought near the source or "head of the river Sidon". Although the Book of Mormon never specifies the direction it flowed, the river Sidon did, and does, have specific battle locations, hills and valleys to the east and west of it. However, since the southern cities were higher in elevation than the northern cities it can be assumed that the river flowed in a northern direction. According to the Book of Mormon, the river Sidon ultimately flows into a "sea". The river Sidon is never mentioned in lands north of Zarahemla. Identifying the Sidon is crucial to locating the land of Zarahemla. In the Book of Mormon the river Sidon was deep and swift enough to carry away semi-buoyant human carcasses.There were also crossing points along the river; and whether the river was crossed on foot or by canoe is heatedly debated by different proponents of the book of Mormon
Coyote Creek is a principal tributary of the San Gabriel River in northwest Orange County, southeast Los Angeles County, and southwest Riverside County, California. It drains a land area of roughly 41.3 square miles (107 km2) covering five major cities, including Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, and La Palma. Some major tributaries of the creek in the highly urbanized watershed include Brea Creek, Fullerton Creek, and Carbon Creek. The mostly flat creek basin is separated by a series of low mountains, and is bounded by several small mountain ranges, including the Chino Hills, Puente Hills and West Coyote Hills.