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Waterworks | An Oxbow Incident

A cache by seldom|seen & Lostby7 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 8/20/2007
In Wisconsin, United States
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

(formerly "Wanderlust: Meandering and Oxbows" by Lostby7)

This EarthCache is placed in a small Jefferson County park. There is plenty of available parking and the terrain is level cut grass. You will not have to venture more than 400 feet from your vehicle unless you wish to meander over to the slide. Park hours are sunrise to sunset. Each year the park may be closed for much of March through May due to the Rock river which frequently floods the park, so please plan your visit accordingly. Please do not enter if the automatic gate is closed.

Please note that as this is an EarthCache there is NO container to be found. There are requirements detailed below that must be completed in order to log this cache. Failure to complete these tasks may result in deletion of your log without notice.


Simply stated, a meander is a bend in a river. A stream or river flowing through a wide valley or flat plain will tend to form a meandering course as it erodes and deposits sediments along its travels. The result is a snaking pattern as the stream flows back and forth across its floodplain.

a simple meander

A term known as a Meander Ratio quantifies how much a river or stream meanders (how much its course deviates from the shortest possible path). It is calculated as the length of the stream divided by the length of the valley. A perfectly straight river would have a meander ratio of 1 (it would be the same length as its valley); the higher this ratio is above 1, the more the river meanders.

Sinuosity Index is the measure of meandering of a stream - when the index is between 1 to 1.3 the river is sinuous, but if the sinuosity index is greater than 1.3 then the river is said to be meandering.


As erosion is greater on the outside of a river bend where velocity is greatest, you will often see tree roots exposed as the current sweeps away their soil. On the inner edge of a river bend you will more often see layers of sediment accumulate as the river, moving slowly, cannot carry its sediment load further down stream.

Because the faster moving current on the outside bend has more erosive ability, the meander tends to grow in the direction of the outside bend. When another outside bend is close by very often the two bends erode towards each other. When these two meanders reach each other a new straighter river channel is created and an abandoned meander loop, called a cut-off, is formed. When sediments finally seal off the cut-off from the river channel, an oxbow lake is formed.

This meander is cut off forming an oxbow lake

Kanow Park

Below you will see topographic and aerial views of Kanow Park, as you can see the Rock River meanders around three sides of it. The water level here in the spring rises dramatically as does the speed at which the river flows thus hastening the process of erosion. Not visible from the park but clearly shown on the maps below is an example of an oxbow.

Aerial View

* To claim this EarthCache *

#1. Take a picture of yourself AND your GPS (or your GPS alone) in front of the pavilion and UPLOAD it with your "Found It Log."

E-MAIL ME the answers to the following questions (DO NOT post the answers in your log)

#2. Estimate the width of the river at the given coordinates.

#3. Is there sediment accumulation here, if so on which side of the river bend (East or West)?

#4. If you visit in winter tell me IF there were to be sediment here which side of the river would it be on?

#5. Are there exposed roots on the fast side of the river?


Permission for this cache has been given by Joe Nehmer, Jefferson County Park Director.



Additional Hints (No hints available.)



93 Logged Visits

Found it 79     Write note 9     Temporarily Disable Listing 2     Enable Listing 2     Publish Listing 1     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 87 images

**Warning! Spoilers may be included in the descriptions or links.

Current Time:
Last Updated: on 6/5/2017 4:57:51 AM Pacific Daylight Time (11:57 AM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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