Guy captures the moment a river cuts a new channel to the ocean

WRT the third video: it seems environmentally indefensible to me to dig your own river breach to surf on. But maybe not if the river would have an uncontrolled breach anyway? Anyone out there know about river geology?

You can have fun with a shovel by digging a tiny ditch across the neck of a river meander, and watch the whole river re-route, leaving people with former river-front property now on a drying oxbow lake.


Apparently it breaches every year regardless, and the surfers doing it by hand merely ensures it happens at an opportune location and time.
Good for the environment -and- fun. :slight_smile:


Quick, call the cartographers!


This is a good video I liked it. It filled me with a bunch of questions about rivers. On Garbage Island, rivers have usually been walled off / buried etc. for centuries, so they don’t evolve naturally. It looks like, left to its own devices, this new river could maybe even close off the previous course(?), so a bunch of places downstream that used to have a big river might suddenly have no river. That’s crazy.

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Well, that was fun.

I wonder if the bloke got stuck there?


My g’g’grandfather tried that once.


12 Celsius is braving the elements? Dangerous situation? Hmmm…

this was the ‘Double Rainbow’ of estuary breaches.

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Mark Twain wrote about that sort of thing in Life on the Mississippi.

The water cuts the alluvial banks of the ‘lower’ river into deep horseshoe curves; so deep, indeed, that in some places if you were to get ashore at one extremity of the horseshoe and walk across the neck, half or three quarters of a mile, you could sit down and rest a couple of hours while your steamer was coming around the long elbow, at a speed of ten miles an hour, to take you aboard again. When the river is rising fast, some scoundrel whose plantation is back in the country, and therefore of inferior value, has only to watch his chance, cut a little gutter across the narrow neck of land some dark night, and turn the water into it, and in a wonderfully short time a miracle has happened: to wit, the whole Mississippi has taken possession of that little ditch, and placed the countryman’s plantation on its bank (quadrupling its value), and that other party’s formerly valuable plantation finds itself away out yonder on a big island; the old watercourse around it will soon shoal up, boats cannot approach within ten miles of it, and down goes its value to a fourth of its former worth. Watches are kept on those narrow necks, at needful times, and if a man happens to be caught cutting a ditch across them, the chances are all against his ever having another opportunity to cut a ditch.


The idea that rivers live in one place, like a road, is pretty modern. Take a look at these maps of how the Mississippi river has changed banks over time - many big rivers squirm all over the place, and form huge natural deltas - our damming and constraining of them has many advantages for us, but causes problems too, like the persistent flooding in New Orleans.


There is the not-told-enough true story of Milton Born-With-A-Tooth of the Peigan First Nation who borrowed some dozers to reroute a the Oldman River around what was to be a dam in 1986. I suspect some other bbsers here know much more about this. There were a number of arrests and the dam was operational by 1992, but this put Canadian watershed management practices under the microscope and (it is argued) led to better environmental practices on other projects.

Andrea, watching this was a lovely way to start a Friday. I like the narration. It appears Wayne Easton’s channel is mostly about his fishing hobby. I wish he’d do nature docs full time. Thanks for sharing.


Not told much at all in media, or the archived stories are well-buried. (I was wondering why his Wikipedia article didn’t have better sources.)


I hate it when a qanat bursts. The Worms go into their death throes and release so much Water of Life we need to call in every RM on Wallach IX to transform it.



I found some book excerpts. It inspired a song by Dana Lyons (more well known for “Cows with Guns”).

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We’ve been waging a desperate war to keep the Mississippi from doing this at the Atchafalaya River for generations. It wants a new outlet to the gulf at Morgan City and would leave New Orleans if not high and dry, at least without fresh water. The great John McPhee wrote about it in The Control of Nature.


Looking at the start of the first video… I’d be pretty sure that he’s kicked this off with the stick (dropped to the right) making the scrapes from the estuary side (on the left).

…but that said, it seems kosher that this could have gone at any time.

As it was mentioned, this happens every year. You can see more context by looking at it on a map/aerial image:

On a side note,the relationship between the actual length a meandering river and the straight line length
is close to Pi.


The Saudis are planning to dig their own channels in the Persian Gulf.