When do rivers begin?

There are two main ways in which rivers begin. Some rivers start when a natural spring releases water from underground. These are often small trickles of water which develop into small streams. In turn these streams increase in size until they are acknowledged as rivers.

Other rivers begin when persistent rain makes a groove or a channel in a piece of land. As more and more rain falls into this channel, a flow of water slowly begins. Just like the springs, a stream can soon develop into a river.

Fact File:

When rivers reach land close to sea level, they begin to meander, forming a snake-like shape on the land. This is caused by the gradual dropping of the sediment it carries where the flow is weak.


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