What is a meander?

A curve in the river!


A meander is a curve in a river

The position of the curves changes over a long period of time through a process called erosion and depositing.

A river rarely flows in a straight unless they have been manmade.

rivers will usually go around something in its way like a large stone or tree.


Meanders have one main feature

They are a curve in a water body

The curve is over 90 degrees 

How is a meander formed?

Meanders are formed by erosion, transport and deposition. 

Meander formation


Stones and other sediments are too heavy to be carried down the river so they are dumped within the river channel.



This is were parts of the river bank is worn away but fast flowing water, rocks and stones.

The shape of a meander is usually ...


Each bend in a meander has two types of slopes.

The outside bend of the river has been eroded, this is called the river cliff side.

The inner side of the river has had heavy sediment dumped there, this are is called the slip-off side.


National curriculum activities river survey

Useful downloads

Geography programme

Key stages 1 and 2, National curriculum in England

River Discovery Day

Natural Meander Site Ingrebourne River

River Studies Risk Assessment

A risk assessment form for this activity