4 conditions that lead to the development of river capture

4 conditions that lead to the development of river capture
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River capture is the process whereby a strong river diverts a parallel weak river and forms a strong stream through a pirate stream. It is a pirate stream that advances towards the weaker stream and captures it.

In other words, river capture occurs where a river cuts through the watershed and intercepts a river flowing on a higher level. An example of this is the Kunene river in Namibia.

the Kunene used to flow to Etosha pan but was intercepted in its middle course by an eastward eroding river from the coastal plain to the sea.

CONDITIONS WHICH LEAD TO DEVELOPMENT OF RIVER CAPTURE

In order for river capture to develop the following conditions should be in operation:




  • There must be a strong river flowing adjacent to the weak river so that the powerful stream may capture its weak neighbor 
  • The powerful river must have greater energy to undertake both vertical and headward erosion  
  • The powerful river must be flowing at a lower and steeper gradient than the weak river  
  • The capturing river must be flowing over rocks that are more easily eroded than the weak river
River capture is the process whereby a strong river diverts a parallel weak river and forms a strong stream through a pirate stream. It is a pirate stream that advances towards the weaker stream and captures it

the following features are associated with river capture

  • the capture stream which is the river that captured the waters of other river
  • the river whose water were captured is called the captured stream
  • the river that has lost its water now flows in the valley that is too big for the stream this stream is called the misfit stream
  • the elbow of the capture is the place where the stream piracy has taken place
  • the wind gap is the dry river valley with the river gravel between the elbow of the capture and the misfit stream

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