- Safer from flooding due to the increased carrying capacity of the river so the risk of flooding to nearby settlements is reduced.
- Embankments are often used for walking routes which makes the embankment a more attractive walkway for local people.
- Cheap compared to other methods of hard engineering
- Habitats are provided for riverbank animals such as otters, voles and kingfishers
Find out more about hard engineering.
Due to erosion on the outside of a bend and deposition on the inside, the shape of a meander will change over a period of time. Erosion narrows the neck of the land within the meander and as the process continues, the meanders move closer together. When there is a very high discharge (usually during a flood), the river cuts across the neck, taking a new, straighter and shorter route. Deposition will occur to cut off the original meander, leaving a horseshoe-shaped oxbow lake.
Find out more about meanders and oxbow lakes.
Three ways humans can increase the risk of flooding in urban areas are:
- Building new infrastructure e.g. roads and paths
- Building new houses
- Disappearing gardens
Find out more about human and physical causes of flooding.
The main characteristics of levees are:
- raised river banks
- consist of gravel, stones and small sediment
- steep on the channel side, gentle sloping on the land side
- relatively flat top covered in grass
Find out more about landforms in the lower course of the river.
Interlocking spurs are fingers of land that jut out into the river valley that streams and rivers are forced to flow around in the upper course.
Find out more about the landforms of erosion in the upper course of a river.