What is a valley?

December 19, 2014
What is a valley?

In geography lessons at school, we were told what a valley is. Today we will refresh your school knowledge, as well as provide additional information on this topic.

What is the valley: the definition

The valley is an elongated landform, an elongated depression that is formed as a result of soil erosion under the action of flowing water. River water gradually washes away the soil along the river banks - and this is how a valley appears. Typically, valleys are formed along the banks of reservoirs. The embryonic forms of the valley are ravines, beams, gullies, which are formed by unstable water currents. Sometimes the appearance of the valley is not due to the action of flowing water, and the characteristics of the geological structure of the relief. An example is the California Valley in North America.

Types of valleys

Geologists distinguish mountain and flat valleys. As the name implies, the first are formed in the mountains, and the second - on the plains. Mountain valleys are characterized by great depth with a small width. They have uneven steep slopes. Plain valleys, on the contrary, are shallow and wide. They have gentle flat slopes.You can read more about plains in the article What is Plains.

Valley structure

Geologists identify the following elements of the valley:

  • slopes;
  • bottom;
  • the bottom of the slopes is the junction of the bottom and the slopes of the valley;
  • Brovka - a place where the slopes of the valley connect with the adjacent relief;
  • terraces - small areas located above the bottom of the valley.

Slopes can be gentle or steep, high or low. In young valleys, the bottom does not stand out enough; the slopes often smoothly flow into the river bank. Over time, each element becomes more pronounced.

Valley features

River valleys are often interconnected and form a complex branched system of landscapes. The relief of the valleys is rather unstable and subject to change due to river flows that can change direction.