River bifurcation

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Bifurcation in Hövelhof, Germany
River deltas such as the pictured delta of the Salween River in Myanmar often show bifurcations. The water flows in from the lower section of the image and passes on both sides of the large island in the center.

River bifurcation (from Latin: furca, fork) occurs when a river flowing in a single stream separates into two or more separate streams (called distributaries) which continue downstream. Some rivers form complex networks of distributaries, especially in their deltas. If the streams eventually merge again or empty into the same body of water, then the bifurcation forms a river island.

River bifurcation may be temporary or semi-permanent, depending on the strength of the material which separates the distributaries. For example, a mid-stream island of soil or silt in a delta is most likely temporary. A location where a river divides around a rock fin, e.g. a volcanically formed dike, or a mountain, may be more lasting. A bifurcation may also be man-made, for example when two streams are separated by a long bridge pier.


The Karnali River bifurcates in Nepal and the two parts rejoin after flowing into India for 80 kilometers.

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  1. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 113 out of 193 United Nations member states, 10 of which have subsequently withdrawn recognition.


  1. ^ Tomović, Gordana (2006). "Kosovo on old maps from the XV to the XVIII century". Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
  2. ^ Alexander Anatolievich Bazelyuk (Базелюк Александр Анатольевич), "АНТРОПОГЕННОЕ ИЗМЕНЕНИЕ ГИДРОГРАФИЧЕСКОЙ СЕТИ КУМО-МАНЫЧСКОЙ ВПАДИНЫ Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine" (Anthropogenic changes in the Hydrographic Network of the Kuma-Manych Depression), summary of the Cand. Sci. dissertation. Rostov-on-Don, 2007. (in Russian) Includes maps.
  3. ^ http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=dairut&aq=&sll=27.556982,30.836563&sspn=0.14549,0.264187&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Dairut,+Assiut,+Egypt&ll=27.561966,30.809011&spn=0.036219,0.066047&t=h&z=15
  4. ^ http://www.pajala.se/mun/pajala/www.nsf/English/764B6DC8BFD894E2C1256FB30024F22D?
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