What is a river?
A: A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.
In some cases, a river flows into the ground and
A: Dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water.
Small rivers can be referred to using names such as
A: Creek, brook, rivulet, and rill.
There are no official definitions for the generic term
river as applied to what?
A: Geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size.
Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a
A: A creek, but not always: the language is vague.
Rivers are part of what cycle?
A: The water cycle.
Water generally collects in a river from precipitation
through a drainage basin from surface runoff and other sources such as what?
A: Groundwater recharge, springs, and the release of stored water in natural ice and snowpacks.
Rivers are often considered major features within a
landscape; however, they actually only cover about how much of the land on
They are made more obvious and significant to humans
since many human cities and civilizations are built around what?
A: The freshwater supplied by rivers and streams.
Most of the major cities of the world are situated on
the banks of rivers, as they are, or were, used as what?
A; A source of water, for obtaining food, for transport, as borders, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, and as a means of disposing of waste.
In the pre-industrial era, larger rivers were a major
obstruction to what?
A: To the movement of people, goods, and armies across them.
Towns often developed where?
A: At the few locations they could be crossed.
Many major cities such as London are located at what?
A; The lowest point at which a river could be bridged.
Potamology is the scientific study of what?
Limnology is the study of what?
A: Inland waters in general.
The water in a river is usually confined to what?
A: A channel, made up of a stream bed between banks.
In larger rivers there is often also a wider floodplain
shaped by what?
A: Flood-waters over-topping the channel.
Floodplains may be very wide in relation to the size of
A: The river channel.
This distinction between river channel and floodplain
can be blurred, especially in urban areas where the floodplain of a river
channel can become what?
A: Greatly developed by housing and industry.
The term upriver (or upstream) refers to the direction
A: The source of the river, i.e. against the direction of flow.
Likewise, the term downriver (or downstream) describes
the direction towards what?
The term left bank refers to the left bank in what
A: The direction of flow, right bank to the right in the direction of flow.
Rivers can flow down mountains, through valleys or
along plains, and can create what?
A: Canyons or gorges.
The river channel typically contains a single stream,
but some rivers flow as several interconnecting streams, producing what?
A: A braided river.
Braided rivers occur on peneplains and some of the
A: River deltas.