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Definition of Terms
There is a lot of technical terms on the Rivers and Streams website. This page is designed to help navigate and define these words and phrases. Use the line below to skip to a certain letter.
Angle formed by the slope of the bank, measured in degrees from the horizontal.
Erosion of bank material caused by water current, wave action, or surface erosion.
Depth of water measured from the surface to the channel bottom when the water surface is aligned with the top of the stream bank.
Maximum streamflow that can be held within the channel without overtopping its banks and spreading onto the floodplain.
Distance between the tops of the most prominent banks on either side of a stream channel.
Slumping of saturates, cohesive soils near a water body that cannot freely drainage during rapid drops in water level.
A submerged or exposed accumulation of sand, grave, or other alluvial material formed in a water body along the banks. Common types of bars include alternate, braided, channel junction, delta, diagonal, dune, island, and mid-channel.
Water that percolates into the ground and is conveyed to the stream slowly over long periods of time, thereby sustaining streamflow during periods without rainfall.
Substrate moving on or near a streambed and frequently in contact with it.
Solid rock, underlying surficial deposits or exposed.
Bottom-dwelling organism including plants, invertebrates, and vertebrae animals that inhabit the benthic zone of a water body.
A measure of the health or condition of a water body based upon values for a specific biological or physical parameter.
Biological based standards used to assess or regulation water body conditions.
Use of biological characteristics of a water body to assess its health or condition.
A substrate particle larger than 25 cm (10 in) in diameter.
A stream that divides into a network of several branching and reuniting channels separated by bars.
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