Why Do Rivers Bend?

Here is one of the many questions that come up while guiding clients on the river.  Why don’t rivers run straight, why do they bend?
So what causes a river to bend in the first place? In a nutshell, all it takes is a little disturbance from a plethora of variables and a whole heck of a lot of time.  We can write a bunch pages and give plenty of reasons but this short three minute animation encapsulates the basics and gives some concrete and easily understood facts on why rivers bend.

Below: A classic example of river meandering through the valley and around mountains.
river meandering

Below: Diagram of a meandering river and associated landforms.meandering_diagram

Fish Kennedy Brothers

Northern California Fly Fishing Guides



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