floodplain


floodplain
flood·plain also flood plain (flŭdʹplān') n.
A plain bordering a river and subject to flooding.

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also called  Alluvial Plain,  

      flat land area adjacent to a stream, composed of unconsolidated sedimentary deposits (alluvium) and subject to periodic inundation by the stream. Floodplains are produced by lateral movement of a stream and by overbank deposition; therefore they are absent where downcutting is dominant. Any erosional widening of one bank is approximately equalled by deposition on the opposite side of the channel in the form of bar development along the inside of meander bends. Thus, the simplest floodplain is made up of a strip of sinuous scrolls immediately adjacent to the stream.

      As meander curves enlarge, the alluvium is constantly reworked and the floodplain widened. The minimum width for a completely developed floodplain is equal to meander amplitude, but some floodplains are developed on deep and wide valley fills and are many times wider than the meander belt. The floodplain of the Mississippi River below its confluence with the Ohio has an occasional width of 80 miles (130 kilometres), with a total area estimated as 50,000 square miles (130,000 square kilometres).

      During inundation, silt drops from the retreating floodwater and, trapped by vegetation, tends to build up and level the floodplain surface. Buildup is greatest near the stream, forming natural levees in areas of stable banks. Floodplain deposits may show vertical size-graded stratification (sorting), tending to be coarser near the stream. The floodplain is an integral part of the stream system and is affected by the adjustments that the system makes to its sediment load and variable flow.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • floodplain — also flood plain, 1873, from FLOOD (Cf. flood) + PLAIN (Cf. plain) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Floodplain — | | [ Virgin River at the upper end of Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah, has almost no floodplain at all.] | | | | |A floodplain, or flood plain, is flat or nearly flat land adjacent to a stream or river that experiences occasional or… …   Wikipedia

  • floodplain — low lying areas next to a river that are inundated seasonally from the river. May be used by fish for spawning. A living flood plain has regular floods while a fossil floodplain is beyond the reach of the highest flood …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • floodplain — noun Date: 1873 1. level land that may be submerged by floodwaters 2. a plain built up by stream deposition …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • floodplain — noun An alluvial plain that experiences occasional or periodic flooding …   Wiktionary

  • floodplain —   the part of the valley floor occasionally flooded by the river. Over time sediment or alluvium builds the elevation of the plain …   Geography glossary

  • Floodplain — Flood|plain 〈[flʌ̣dplɛın] f.; Gen.: , Pl.: s; Geogr.〉 Flachlandebene, die generell überschwemmt ist [Etym.: <engl. flood »Flut, Hochwasser« + plain »Ebene«] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • Floodplain — Flood|plain [ flʌdplein] die; , s <zu engl. flood »Überschwemmung; Hochwasser; Flut« u. plain »Ebene« dies über (alt)fr. plain aus lat. planus »flach, eben«> generell überschwemmte Flachlandebene (Geogr.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • floodplain — see flood plain …   English dictionary

  • floodplain — Land adjacent to rivers, which, because of its level topography, floods when river overflows …   Black's law dictionary


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