A meander is a winding curve or bend in a river. Meanders are the result of both erosional and depositional processes. They are typical of the middle and lower course of a river. This is because vertical erosion is replaced by a sideways form of erosion called LATERAL erosion, plus deposition within the floodplain.

The image below shows a series of meanders. Notice the deposition on the inside of the meanders (pale material) and the river cliffs or bluffs (indicated by dark shadows) on the outside of the meanders.

A series of meanders

A series of meanders

Again, the image below shows a series of meanders. The river shown in the photograph is swollen due to recent rainfall. Once again we can see deposition on the inside curves of the meander.


Erosion, transportation and deposition are all processes that create the characteristic features of meanders shown in the images above.