Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Channel Pattern

  • Bart Makaske
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_84


Plan view configuration of one or more connected open conduits.


The shape of channels at the planetary surface may vary spatially as a function of flow and planetary surface characteristics. Basic plan view characteristics for a given reach concern the presence, number, size and shape of channel bends, and the degree of channel or thalweg splitting. For fluvial channel patterns, a large-scale subdivision can be made, between channel patterns in denudational uplands, where channels occupy valleys that are limiting lateral channel mobility, and channel patterns in aggradational lowlands, where channels are unconfined by valley sides and may laterally migrate or relocate by avulsion. Fluvial channels in aggradational lowlands are commonly termed alluvial channels. In addition, on Earth submarine channel patterns can be distinguished, which especially occur on continental slopes and submarine fans. In coastal zones on Earth, strongly branching channel patterns (Fig. 1...
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Soil Geography and Landscape GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands