A yazoo stream is a geologic and hydrologic term for any tributary stream that runs parallel to, and within the floodplain of a larger river for considerable distance, before eventually joining it. This is especially the characteristic when such a stream is forced to flow along the base of the main river's natural levee. Where the two meet is known as a 'belated' confluence or a 'deferred' junction. The name comes from the Yazoo River, which runs parallel to the Mississippi River for 280 km (170 mi) before converging, being constrained from doing so upstream by the river's natural and man-made levees.
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