Straight river: its formation and speciality

Research paper by Wang Sui-ji, Ni Jin-ren

Indexed on: 01 Jan '02Published on: 01 Jan '02Published in: Journal of Geographical Sciences


Straight river is generally regarded as one of the typical river patterns in conventional classifications in terms of their channel plain landforms. However, very few straight patterns were found to be distributed in wider spatial and temporal spans in the self-adjusted fluvial rivers. Thus, the questions occur such as that is it possible for a channel takes on a stable straight pattern? What are the main factors controlling the processes of the river pattern formation and transformation from a straight to other patterns? Various theories and hypotheses including geomorphic threshold hypothesis, the extreme hypothesis on energy dissipation rate, the stability theory, etc. have been developed to explain the aforementioned questions, but none of them is sound for the explanation to the straight-river formation. From the modern fluvial plain patterns, the straight patterns are not as stable as other typical patterns which occurred in nature; from the historic records of the river sedimentation, no apparent evidence was found to support the stable straight river evolution. Based on the analysis of existing theories, observations, evolvement processes of the channel patterns in the experimental results, this paper concluded that the straight pattern should not be included as one of the typical patterns that are self-formed and developed. This study is of importance to understanding of the river pattern formation and transformation.