Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi


  • Federico Vilas
  • Daniel Rey
  • Ana M. Bernabeu
  • Belén Rubio
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_530


On Earth, ría is a drowned river valley, which has developed on rocky or hilly coasts, submerged as a result of a relative sea level rise, tectonic changes, or a combination of both.

While the major part of the total surface of a ría has marine conditions and wave-dominated processes that control the distribution of sedimentary facies, only in the river mouths that flow into the ría can estuarine processes be found. While the exposed areas are characterized by sandy bottoms near the shore and shallow depths, from the inner to the outer zone of the ría the sediments grade from silty to sandy mud in deeper areas. From an aerial view, funnel-shaped geometry and deep entrances are visible with a considerable reduction in both dimensions upstream. Cross sections show large trough-shaped valleys with flat bottoms, except towards the headboard area where they commonly have a well-defined main channel bordered on both sides by lateral shoals (Vilas et al. 2010).


A type of  

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Vilas
    • 1
  • Daniel Rey
    • 1
  • Ana M. Bernabeu
    • 1
  • Belén Rubio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marine GeosciencesUniversity of VigoVigoSpain