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Describe and explain the formation of an oxbow lake

Oxbow lakes are often found in the middle course of a river where the discharge is high. Firstly, a meander will begin to form. On the inside of the bends (convex banks) deposition occurs and on the outsides of the bends (concave banks) erosion occurs. The velocity of the water is greater on the outside of the bends compared to the inside hence why erosion occurs on the outside. Over time the meander will become more pronounced. During a flood the neck of the meander will be completely eroded, since water takes the path of least resistance. At this point the flow of the river will have once again straightened and deposition will occur along the banks of the straightened river. This will cause the old river channel to become fully detached and at this point it becomes known as an oxbow lake.