Oxbow Lakes: A Crescent Moon on the Landscape
There are lakes that are quiet unusual in shape, they look like a crescent moon, and what’s more, you don’t find them everywhere. How do these lakes get these funny shapes?
These funny shaped lakes are called oxbow lakes. An oxbow lake is formed when a wide river slows down. The closer the river gets to the ocean, the flatter the landscape becomes and the slower the river flows. It sometimes begins to wind through the landscape in broad, looping curves called meanders. Some meanders will grow out into much broader loops than others. Then the neck of the loop may become very narrow as the loop grows. Where the flow is slow, the water deposits its sediments or remains of organisms and fine particles of rock and dirt that the river has torn away from its banks. Where the river flow is fast, it erodes those sediments. These sediments are deposited and start to block the entrance of an oxbow lake. An oxbow lake is formed by erosion and deposition. You may wonder what they are: erosion is when sediments get moved (movement of sediments) and deposition is when sediments settle down somewhere. The main agent of a formation of an oxbow lake is water because it’s formed in water as you can predict by the title. The water finally flows into the ocean. The old channel may cut off to an area of water forming oxbow lakes.
Oxbow lakes are found where there is a strong river flow but at the same time a place where there is flat land, so basically they could be found anywhere! You can find lots of them in Lake Chicot.
The most famous oxbow lake is found in North America, Lake Chicot (located near Lake Village, Arkansas) it was originally part of the Mississippi River. And it is famous for its length.
In the future, I think that oxbow lakes are will continue to form. Because I think in the future all the land will get flat and water will run fast and more oxbow lakes will form!