The terms river morphology and its synonym fluvialgeomorphology are used to describe the shapes of riverchannels and how they change in shape and direction over time. The morphology of a river channel is a function of a number of processes and environmental conditions, including the composition and erodibility of the bed and banks (e.g., sand, clay, bedrock); erosion comes from the power and consistency of the current, and can effect the formation of the river's path. Also, vegetation and the rate of plant growth; the availability of sediment; the size and composition of the sediment moving through the channel; the rate of sediment transport through the channel and the rate of deposition on the floodplain, banks, bars, and bed; and regional aggradation or degradation due to subsidence or uplift. River morphology can also be effected by human interaction, which is a way the river responds to the new element of how the river can change it's course. A river regime is a dynamic equilibrium system, which is a way of classifying rivers into different categories. The four categories of river regimes are Sinuous canali- form rivers, Sinuous point bar rivers, Sinuous braided rivers, and Non-sinuous braided rivers.
The study of river morphology is accomplished in the field of fluvialgeomorphology, the scientific term.