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Streams and Rapids

A stream is a small, narrow river. It is formed near the source when trickles of water combine together.

Stream running alongside the Severn Way - geograph.org.uk - 532331

As it flows quickly downhill, the water easily erodes (wears away) rocks to create a channel to flow in. Gravel, pebbles and boulders are then transported (carried) along and cause further erosion as they roll and bounce around.


V-shaped valleys are often cut into hillsides by streams eroding downwards.

Interlocking spurs - geograph.org.uk - 45568

If a river bed has alternate bands of hard and soft rock, it may erode into a series of ledges. This makes rapids form as the river surface breaks up into waves.

Rapids, on the River Teign - geograph.org.uk - 1095924