Head cut (stream geomorphology)

Head cut, in stream geomorphology, is an erosional feature of some intermittent and perennial streams with an abrupt vertical drop, also known as a knickpoint, in the stream bed. The knickpoint, where a head cut begins, can be as small as an overly-steep riffle zone or as a large as a waterfall. When it is not flowing, the head cut will resemble a very short cliff or bluff. A small plunge pool may be present at the base of the head cut due to the high energy of falling water. As erosion of the knickpoint and the streambed continues, the head cut will migrate upstream.


Head cut, in stream geomorphology, is an erosional feature of some intermittent and perennial streams with an abrupt vertical drop, also known as a knickpoint, in the stream bed. The knickpoint, where a head cut begins, can be as small as an overly-steep riffle zone or as a large as a waterfall. When it is not flowing, the head cut will resemble a very short cliff or bluff. A small plunge pool may be present at the base of the head cut due to the high energy of falling water. As erosion of the knickpoint and the streambed continues, the head cut will migrate upstream.
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