Slough (hydrology)

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A slough in Nebraska in the United States

A slough (US Listeni/sl/, UK Listeni/sl/)[1] is a wetland, usually a swamp or shallow lake, often a backwater to a larger body of water.[2] Water tends to be stagnant or may flow slowly on a seasonal basis.[3]

In North America, "slough" may refer to a side-channel from or feeding a river, or an inlet or natural channel only sporadically filled with water.[1] An example of this is Finn Slough on the Fraser River, whose lower reaches have dozens of notable sloughs. Some sloughs, like Elkhorn Slough, used to be mouths of rivers, but have become stagnant because tectonic activity cut off the river's source.

In the Sacramento River, Steamboat Slough was an alternate branch of the river, a preferred shortcut route for steamboats passing between Sacramento and San Francisco. Georgiana Slough was a steamboat route through the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, from the Sacramento River to the San Joaquin River and Stockton.


  1. ^ a b Oxford Dictionaries Online
  2. ^ "What is a slough?". National Ocean Service. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Aber, James S. (2012). "Wetland Definitions and Classification". Wetland Environments. Emporia State University. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of slough at Wiktionary