Colorado River Meanders from Aloft

May 18, 2016

Colorado River Meanders for EPOD (Rick Scott) (1)

Photographer: Rick Scott
Summary Author: Rick Scott

When rivers cut through young valleys, the valleys tend to be V-shaped with the river running fairly straight. When the valley widens out and attains a flat floor, the river most always meanders from side to side. Many times the meanders are so tight that the river eventually erodes a straight path cutting off the meander, creating an oxbow lake that usually dries up over time. While flying from Phoenix, Arizona to Los Angeles, California this past winter I had a great view of the Colorado River as it winds its way past Poston, Arizona. You can see the Colorado River on the far side of the flat valley floor (at lower center) along with ancient meanders on both sides of the river. Note that river water is used here to irrigate the crops covering the valley floor. Lake Havasu (Arizona) is in the upper right-hand corner of the photo -- taken on February 27, 2016.