High on a mountain, snow melts. Some of the melted snow trickles down the mountainside, finding the easiest path. It is so narrow you could step across it.

Another trickle of water bubbles out from under a rock from underground water called a spring. This trickle joins the melted snow, making a wider, faster-moving stream. It flows down the mountain increasing speed. More streams or tributaries, come together to form a river.

Soil and stones, carried along by the rushing water year after year; cut a groove into the mountainside. The bottom of this groove is the bed of the river. The high sides of the groove are its banks.

The rushing river hurries to the edge of a cliff in the mountainside and falls in a roaring, tumbling, splashing waterfall.

In a steep place near the bottom of the mountain, the fast-moving river has worn away the soft rock. Only bumps of hard rock are left sticking up as the river swirls and foams around them. This part of the river is called the rapids.

Past the rapids, the land slopes gently, so the river moves more slowly. The river leaves the mountain and flows out onto a plain.

Other rivers from other mountains join the first river. Together they become a great, broad river that winds slowly across the plain on its journey to the ocean. If the river overflows its banks, it leaves behind mud, sand, and silt that form a flat area called a flood plain.

At the edge of the ocean, the river’s mouth is often a sort of dumping place. The river carries soil and sand. If the water is calm at the river’s mouth, the sand and soil sink to the bottom of the riverbed. Over time, they pile up and form tiny islands. The river flows around the islands and splits into branches.

Over time, a large piece of land shaped somewhat like a triangle has built up at the mouth of the river. This land is called a delta.

Those first trickles of melted snow have travelled far from the river’s head high on the mountain to its mouth in the ocean.

Picture Credit : Google