A meander is a winding curve or bend in the river; meanders usually occur in the middle or lower course and are formed by erosion and deposition. The water erodes the river bank on the outside of the bend where the water flow has most energy due to decreased friction. On the inside of the bend, where the river flow is slower, material is deposited. This area where the sedimentary material is deposited is called the slip-off slope.
How A Meander Forms
A stream of any volume can assume a meandering course, alternately eroding sediments from the outside of a bend and depositing them on the inside resulting in a snaking pattern. Over time meanders migrate downstream which in some situations can cause problems in areas where roads and bridges need maintained.
(Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meander)
If you look across to the other side of the river at the given coordinates you will see the slip off slope for this meander.
To claim this earthcache please email the CO via the link above with the answers to the following questions :
- Estimate the height of the bank on the side of the river with the slip off slope and the opposite side of the river with the river-cut cliff. Is there a difference, why do you think this is?
- Look at the speed of the river by the slip-off. Is the speed of the river slower or faster on that side of the river? What process is occurring here to form the slip off slope?
- OPTIONAL – take a photo of yourself & GPS at the meander.
Many thanks to the Midlothian County Rangers for giving us permission to hide the caches