Initial Publication Date: October 11, 2012

Sediment Deposition and Facies in Continental Environments

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Meandering River visualization
Terrestrial Animations This set of animations from the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) group contains 16 movies of various river processes. Movies include meander formation, floodplain evolution, floods, river engineering, landscape evolution, dams and more.
Oxbow Lake Formation (more info) From Wycombe, this Flash slide show renders a detailed five step analysis of oxbow lake formation. Because the whole process of oxbow lake formation is spread over five steps, it is easy to see how an oxbow lake forms.
Rio Puerco River Meandering ( This site may be offline. ) From Exploring Earth, this Flash enabled slide show reveals how the Rio Puerco River's course has changed over time. Unlike the previous animation, which is superimposed on a topographic map, this site chronicles meandering patterns on actual aerial photography.
Modes of Sediment Transport, McGraw Hill (more info) A Flash animation shows the various forms of stream sediment transport like sliding, rolling, saltation, suspension, and dissolved load. Access the animation by clicking on the " Modes of Sediment Transport" link.

Stream Deposition Patterns, Exploring Earth ( This site may be offline. ) This Flash animation reveals deposition patterns associated with a river flowing into a lake. Gravel is deposited closest to shore, with sand and clay sized sediments laid down with decreasing flow velocities. Note that individual clay particles (which are visible in this animation) are too small to be seen without a powerful microscope.


Sandy River (Quicktime Video 20.5MB Jan20 12) and Gravelly Braided River (Quicktime Video 6.8MB Jan20 12) video footage of the North Fork of the Platte River, Nebraska and the Toutle River, Washington. By Paul Heller, University of Wyoming. Part of a collection of sediment transport videos ( This site may be offline. )

Laboratory Experiments

Experimental Braided Stream (MP4 Video 10.7MB Jan24 12), Experimental Transition from Braided to Meandering (MP4 Video 5.1MB Jan24 12), videos from Chris Paola at the University of Minnesota in the Experimental Earthscape Facility (or XES or Jurassic Tank).

Lecture videos

Dawn Sumner at University of California at Davis has a series of video explanations of topics in sedimentary geology, including collections on Sediment Transport Basics and Fluid Dynamics, as well as specifics on Meandering Rivers, Braided Rivers, and Suspension and Bedload Sediment Transport. These videos include explanation of the Bernouli Effect, saltating and rolling grains. These collections are subsets of the larger Playlist: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy ( This site may be offline. )


Map of Mississippi River Flood of 1927 compiled by the U.S. Coast and Geodedic Survey details the river location, flood extent, locations where existing levees broke, and the location of resulting Red Cross camps.
NASA provides imaging of recent floods on earth from two resources Astronaut Photos from Space and from the Earth Observatory. Click Floods in the drop down menu in either page for images of flood events on Earth.
Marli Miller, geologist at University of Oregon, provides beautiful photographs of braided rivers, meandering rivers, and estuaries. Search more photos at Miller's Earth Science Photography site (more info) .


Mississippi Plumes ( This site may be offline. ) This MODIS satellite image shows sediment plumes from the main branch of the Mississippi River as they move through the bayou region and into the Gulf of Mexico. Additional NASA Mississippi images include MODIS satellite images 'May, 2011 flooding

Alluvial Fans and Headwaters

Landscape Instability in an Experimental Drainage Basin. (more info) Animations of a physical model and associated numerical model investigating the stability of eroding drainage basins under conditions of constant climate and uplift. This work was conducted by Les Hasbargen at the National Center for Earth Surface Dynamics (NCED) (, University of Minnesota.

Alluvial Fan and Effect of Low Fronde Number on Geomorphology and Stratigraphy videos created by the University of Minnesota Geology and Geophysics group at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. The Experimental Earthscape Facility (or Jurassic Tank) is a laboratory analogue to river and delta conditions.
Alluvial Fan photographs from Marli Miller, at University of Oregon. Search more photos at Miller's Earth Science Photography site (more info) .