Landforms formed by Fluvial Work through Upper Course River

Landforms formed by Fluvial Work through Upper Course River

Posted by Manisha on May 17, 2020


We all are well informed and habitual of this word. It is among one basic necessity of our survival, without water we will die, as about 70% of our body (human body) is made up of water.

In the same way, our planet Earth is a water planet, as it’s around more than 70% area is covered with water. Water creates an environment that sustains and nurtures plants, animals, and human life on this Earth crust and that’s why we call this The Living Planet.

Water further helps in shaping the earth's crust to create a beautiful home for life present on the Earth.
Are you interested in knowing, How?

How and what all featured landforms are made by the fluvial process in the upper course of the river at its youth stage?
Yes, let’s continue reading with me and you will get to know everything, without doing much effort. And if you have a query and find any difficulty, freely ask me. 
Firstly, I will tell you about the landform made by rainwater than move to youth stage landforms. 

Landform formed by Rainwater

  • It is a shady spot or marshy place.
  • Shallow channel with a gently sloping side.
  • It is generally used to manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration. 

This is the only rainwater landform. Which needs to discuss here.

Landforms formed by Upper Course River at Youth stage

The word fluvial is directly related to the water stream and river (running water). In Geography, Geology, and Geomorphology this word is popularly used in relation to rivers erosional, transportation, and depositional work.
In the youth stage of the river that is upper course Erosional work at its high pace, the other two fluvial processes just play a supportive role.

Upper course river
  • It is the steepest parton river journey.
  • Also called the Youthstage of the river. 
  • Here the Downward erosion > Sidewall erosion.
  • Vertical erosion is greatest here. 

The main landforms in the upper course river listed here are:

  • George
  • canyon
  • V-shaped valley
  • Waterfall
  • Rapids
  • Potholes 

Let’s go through each one landform one by one.

  • A Gorge is a narrow valley with steep, hard rocky walls located between the hills or mountains. 
  • It formed in the mountainous region of river origin.
  • It is formed due to the more down cutting as compared to side cutting erosional work of the river.
  • This is the result of erosional work on hard rocks by the river.

For example, In India Brahmaputra, Satluj, Narmada, and many more rivers made Gorge. In China Yangtze river. 

development of v-shaped valley
Development of V-Shaped Valley
  • It is also a deep and narrow valley with steep sides but it is wider than Gorge.

For example, the grand canyon carved by the Colorado River, the Yarlung Zangbo by the river, Grand Canyon in Tibet (5300)meter- deepest in the world, Zanskar valley Spiti valley, Spiti valley, Gandikota grand canyon. In India.

V-shaped valley
  • Most rivers in the world formed this.
  • It is a v-shaped low lying area between the hills or mountains.
  • It is wider than the Canyon
  • Generally, all river flows through this.

For example, Ganga river valley in India, Romsdalen in western Norway, The Harav valley in west Sumatra, Indonesia.

V-Shaped Valley Explanation
V-Shaped Valley with Explanation
  • When the flowing water suddenly falls from the high place, waterfall came into existence.
  • The slope and shape of the waterfall depend upon how soft and hard rocks are placed. 
  • It is a fall of a river or other water body from a straight steep slope.
  • Sometimes it formed steps like shape.

For example, Angle fall is the tallest waterfall in the world with 979 meters of height.
Niagra fall of USA with 120-meter height, Victoria fall on Jambeji river of south Africa, Gasoppa (Jog) waterfall of India on Kaveri river in India with 260-meter height, Yen fall in Maharashtra, India with 183-meter height.

  • When the river or water bodies flows over an area having hard and soft rocks, then Rapids came into existence.
  • It is the section of extremely strong currents, numerous obstacles, and steps in their stream beds.
  • The water is very shallow here.
  • These are bowl-shaped or cylindrical shaped holes, generally deeper than the wide, found into the rocky bed of the watercourse. 
  • It is formed when a soft rock came into a hard bed of the watercourse.
  • These potholes increased day by day due to erosion and these big potholes known as the Plunge pool.

bowl shaped potholes
Bowl Shaped Potholes, Shelburne Falls

These are 6 erosional landforms made by the upper course of the river. These landforms are specially formed in the mountainous or hilly area. After this river entered the plains, where the other two fluvial processes i.e. Transportation and deposition (eroded material) plays an active role and formed various new landforms. About which I will discuss separately in my next post Landforms formed by Mature Stage Middle Course River.

Enjoy the post and share your story of the experience of any tour or visit to upper course river erosional features.