What is a river?

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There’s nothing like the sound of a rushing river, flowing with energy! Larger than a creek, a river is a body of water that flows in an indention in the land called a channel. The bottom of the channel is called a bed, while the sides are called banks

A river may start from natural springs (rising water from beneath the Earth’s surface), or it may originate from a water source like a lake or a melting glacier. Falling rain also supplies the river with much of its water. 

Most of the time, rivers flow until they reach a larger water source, such as the ocean. The place where a river meets the ocean is called the mouth of the river. Sometimes rivers join with other rivers along their path. The smaller rivers that feed into the main body of water are called tributaries!

Rivers are very important to our world! Not only do they help drain the land of extra water, their energy can be used to generate power, and people can travel them in boats, even transporting goods from place to place.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    The longest river in the world is the Nile River, which flows for more than 4,000 miles in Africa. The largest river in the world is the Amazon River in South America. It carries more water than any other river!
  • Exploration

    Can you create a river using watercolor paints on paper? First, choose a water source. Does your river start at a lake? A melting glacier? A spring? As you begin to paint the river’s path, decide if other rivers will join its flow as tributaries. Is your picture starting to look like a wavy fork with tines of different lengths?! Don’t forget to paint your river emptying into a larger body of water, such as an ocean or sea. Enjoy the process and go with the flow.
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