Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Channel

  • Gino Erkeling
  • Esther Stouthamer
  • Henrik Hargitai
  • Kirstie Fryirs
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_42

Definition

An open conduit through which some fluid has moved (Sharp and Malin 1975). On Earth, a channel is defined as “the hollow bed where a natural body of surface water flows or may flow. The deepest or central part of the bed of a stream, containing the main current and occupied more or less continuously by water” (NSSH 2008).

Related Terms

Valley, Channel-belt deposit, Macrochannel, Inner channel

Description and Terminology

Channel

On Earth, the term “channel” refers to the bed and bank of a stream, usually lying at the bottom of a gully, canyon, or valley (Sharp and Malin 1975), but it is also applied to  lava channels and submarine channels.

On Mars, it has come to mean any elongate narrow depression of linear, curvilinear, sinuous, or irregular configuration, created by external processes, typically erosion (Sharp and Malin 1975). However, the application of the term “channel” to any linear negative landforms of Mars is inappropriate in terms of strict terminology (Sharp and...

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gino Erkeling
    • 1
  • Esther Stouthamer
    • 2
  • Henrik Hargitai
    • 3
  • Kirstie Fryirs
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für PlanetologieWestfälische Wilhelms-UniversitätMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Department of Physical GeographyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA
  4. 4.Department of Environment and GeographyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia