Reach (geography)

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A reach in geography can mean several things. Most generally, a reach is any length of a stream between any two points. The points may be selected for any reason, such as gauging stations, river miles, natural features, and topography. They may be arbitrary or vague.[1][2]

A reach may also be an expanse, or widening, of a stream or river channel. This commonly occurs after the river or stream is dammed. A reach is similar to an arm.

The term "reach" can also refer to:

  • An extended portion or stretch of land or water;
  • a straight portion of a stream or river, as from one turn to another;
  • a level stretch, as between locks in a canal;
  • an arm of the sea extending up into the land.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hydrologic Definitions, Science in Your Watershed, USGS
  2. ^ Glossary: stream-related terms, StreamNet