river capture

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Process whereby a stream is able to tap and so capture the discharge of a neighbour. The capturing stream normally extends by headward erosion along an outcrop of soft rock until it meets and diverts a second, less-favoured, transverse system. A right-angled bend, the ‘elbow of capture’ is typical of the junction between capturing and captured streams. See also avulsion.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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