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Fluvial processes form several channel patterns, including:
- Straight, which are found in the most tectonically incised/active areas. This is more of a hypothetical end-member, and are not often found in nature. Straight-type channels can be found at alluvial fans.
- Braided rivers, which form in (tectonically active) areas that have a larger sedimentary load than the discharge of the river and a high gradient.
- Meandering rivers, which form a sinuous path in a usually low-gradient plain toward the end of a fluvial system.
- Anastomosed river is a rare case of a relatively straight, complicated vertical sequence of river deposits with banks held together by dense vegetation.
- Prothero, D. R. and Schwab, F., 1996, Sedimentary Geology, pg. 137-167, ISBN 0-7167-2726-9
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