Braided Stream Through Dunes

August 30, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Phillip Lachman
Summary authors & editors: Phillip Lachman

At first glance, you would think this is an aerial photo of a braided stream running through sand dunes and forming a delta as it empties into a bay. Photos can be deceptive! This photo was not taken from a height of 1.8 km but rather 1.8 m. However, the principles that govern the formation of the geomorphological features seen here are the same as those that would be found elsewhere on a much larger scale. I found many examples of this at Bagnells Beach, situated on the southern edge of Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. It was low tide, and the water draining out of the beach sand was running down into the bay, carving channels and depositing the sand in a delta formation as it slowed upon entering the bay water. "Levee banks" also formed which enabled the stream to lengthen its course to a total length of about 1.5 m (4.92 ft).

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