River bifurcation

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Bifurcation of the rabbit (left) and Else (right) near Melle
Bifurcation of Krollbach (left) and Schwarzwasserbach (right) in Hövelhof

A river bifurcation or river bifurcation is the branching (fork) of a flowing body of water in such a way that its water flows into two different river systems . The watershed is interrupted at the fork by the branching watercourse, so that part of the runoff passes from one catchment area to another. The word comes from Latin bi- "two" and furca "the fork".

In the English-speaking world, notwithstanding one of this importance, often each branch or fork riverbed in creeks , as well as the part runs a anastamosierenden river called "bifurcation".

Types of bifurcations

Permanent bifurcations
are active at practically every water level .
Periodic or ephemeral bifurcations
become active as an “overflow” only from a certain water level. For example, during floods in the Minnesota Lake District, the Mississippi system connects with the Red River and Lake Superior .
Underground bifurcations
occur in karst areas in phreatic or active vadose caves (water caves). A well-known example is the sinking of the Danube with an underground connection to the Aachtopf and thus to the catchment area of ​​the Rhine .
occur when stagnant water bodies such as swamps or lakes drain to several different river systems. Pseudo because here no actual current is split up, but a basin has several drains. Many pseudobifurcations in Central Europe owe their existence to glacial valleys : In the post-glacial period, the direction of the flat valley floors of the glacial valleys dictated the direction of flow for the waters. However, where the gradient was very low or where the glacial valley (due to postglacial processes) even had an apex, instead of flowing, standing water or bogs often formed. As soon as these drain into the glacial valley on both sides, there is a pseudobifurcation.
is called a bifurcation in glaciers  - in contrast to confluence , the confluence. In the flowing water currents within the glacier, the shapes of water caves also appear.

There are also numerous artificial bifurcations for supplying water to irrigation areas, cities and shipping canals as well as in power plant construction. Here, hydrographically significant amounts of water can be transported.



Bifurcation of the Nerodimka (Nerodimja) in Kosovo; with both directions of flow on signs: Deti i Zi ( Black Sea ) and Deti Egje ( Aegean Sea )


In the Peene system there are many pseudobifurcations not only in glacial valleys .

Artificial bifurcations

See also

Web links

Commons : river bifurcation  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Bifurcation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Herbert Louis : General Geomorphology. Walter de Gruyter Verlag, Berlin and New York, 4th edition 1979. ISBN 3 11 007103 7 . Section Covering watersheds, p. 317.
  2. There are some interesting "holes" in the Continental Divide. Archived from the original on August 11, 2016 ; Retrieved October 17, 2009 .
  3. Regions and Rivers. Retrieved May 2, 2020 .
  4. Bifurcation of the rabbit :
    - Bifurcation , at Heimatverein Gesmold eV , on bifurkation.de
    - The history of the bifurcation in Gesmold , accessed on September 7, 2012, on bifurkation.de
    - The bifurcation of the rabbit in Melle-Gesmold , ... a hydrogeographic specialty in the association area , at the entertainment association No. 96 "Hase-Bever"
  5. Bifurcation of the Nerodimka (Nerodimja) :
    - Hydrological heritage in the system of natural values ​​and its protection in Kosova. Retrieved September 7, 2012 . (PDF; 716 kB)
    - Vlerat e trashëgimisë natyrore të Kosovës. (PDF; 7.6 MB) In: Agjensioni për Mbrojtjen e Mjedisit të Kosovës. Retrieved September 7, 2012 (English, with picture and map). -
    Ferizaj Municipality: Strategy for Local Economic Development
  6. Wasserscheide Geheege , on rothenburg-ol.de
  7. Topographic map with the mountain lake Etang des Dougnes (Estany de les Dugues) , with both outflows, on geoportail.fr