From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ouareau jps0029.jpg

A freshet can refer to one of the following:

  • A flood resulting from heavy rain or a spring thaw.[1] Whereas heavy rain often causes a flash flood, a spring thaw event is generally a more incremental process, depending upon local climate and topography. The term freshet is most commonly used to describe a spring thaw resulting from snow and ice melt in rivers located in the northern latitudes of North America, particularly Canada, where rivers are frozen each winter and thaw during the spring. A spring freshet can sometimes last several weeks on large river systems, resulting in significant inundation of flood plains as the snow pack melts in the river's catchment area. Spring freshets associated with thaw events are sometimes accompanied by ice jams which can cause flash floods.
  • A stream or river of fresh water which empties into the ocean, usually flowing through an estuary.


  1. ^ Gieck, Jack (1988). A Photo Album of Ohio's Canal Era, 1825-1913. Kent State University Press. pp. xvii. 

External links[edit]

- Definition at

An example of usage of the term "freshet" is shown in the text on a historic marker at Durgin Bridge near Sandwich, New Hampshire.