• The spring in the national park Endla, Estonia. It originates the river

  • The Source of the Volga. At a spring that starts a river, there was built a chapel

  • Bend of the Uvac River, Serbia. Its waters flow through a winding course among calcareous rocks

  • The Horseshoe Lake near the town of Morris, Canada is a typical example of oxbow lakes. It was once the part of the Red River flowing nearby

  • The Tara River canyon, Montenegro is the deepest in Europe and the second deepest in the world (to 1300 m).

  • The simple mouth: Margaret River, Australia flows into the ocean

  • The Lena Delta is the largest in the world, it starts 150 km before flowing into the Laptev Sea. The snapshot in such an unusual colors was made by Landsat satellite

  • The Delta of the Neva River, overlooking the Gulf of Finland from Petrograd side

From Source to Mouth: Learning Water Dictionary

We admire the ponds, use them and often take for granted, without thinking how and where the rivers flow, how the lakes emerge. But to truly appreciate it, you need to understand how they work - at least in general terms. Our next Water-gallery will help to understand the terms associated with water travelling on the planet's surface.

1. Source. The source is called the place where there is a constant flow of water. From here the river begins its journey. It can flow out of the lake, as the Neva, or swamps, like the Moscow River. The source can also be a glacier, as the Ganges' one. Many rivers owe their existence to the springs. Just think, the Volga-mother, whose length is 3530 km, starts from the small source, which rises from the ground at Valdai. And this is somehow remembered less than the confluence of the rivers into the Caspian Sea.

2. Bend. Rivers often twist, skirting the natural obstacles along the way - such as the slopes of the protrusions. These curves are called bends. However, if you compare the picture of the same river on the maps of different years, it becomes clear that its outlines considerably changed over the years, even if there is nothing to go around. This process is called meandering (in honor of the ancient meandering river Meander, now the Big Menderes). Scientists are still arguing, why rivers meander this way, but the majority believes the reason is the erosion of the riverbed and circulation of water flow.

3. Bayou. Lakes located close to rivers and resembling the shape of a horseshoe or a hammer, in old times were the bends, and during floods the river took a short cut, its course straightened, and formed a new reservoir. Bayous exist for not a long time. Gradually they dry up and turn into swamps.

4. Canyon. This word in Spanish means "pipe", and, in fact, canyons are part of the water-pipe laid by the nature. Millions of years ago the change in elevation gave the rivers speed and force, sufficient to gradually destroy the rock that blocked the path. As a result, there formed valleys with steep slopes, the height of which can reach several thousand meters. The longest canyon on the Earth, by the way, is not Colorado, but the Grand canyon in Greenland. Its length is 750 km, and melted water flows through it, but ice sheet prevents to see how this happens. The crevice was discovered with the help of radar.

5. Mouth. Wherever the river flows from - the lake, the sea or the ocean, "the meeting place" is the mouth. If the river with maintains its width and has no separated water flows, the mouth is called simple. At the confluence of the sea the formation of bays is possible, where fresh and salt water mix. Mouth of many rivers in the world has a delta - lowland where the main flow of water is divided into several smaller ones. The most extensive network is in the mouths of the Volga, the Lena, the Ganges rivers. In the deltas fish is spawning, birds are wintering, and the land is particularly fertile – no wonder the civilization began in such areas. In fact, the historic center of St. Petersburg is situated in the Delta of the Neva River.

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