Stream capture

Stream capture, river capture, river piracy or stream piracy is a geomorphological phenomenon occurring when a stream or river drainage system or watershed is diverted from its own bed, and flows instead down the bed of a neighbouring stream. This can happen for several reasons, including:Tectonic earth movements, where the slope of the land changes, and the stream is tipped out of its former course
Natural damming, such as by a landslide or ice sheet
Erosion, either
Headward erosion of one stream valley upwards into another, or
Lateral erosion of a meander through the higher ground dividing the adjacent streams.
Within an area of karst topography, where streams may sink, or flow underground and then reappear in a nearby stream valley
Glacier retreat


Stream capture, river capture, river piracy or stream piracy is a geomorphological phenomenon occurring when a stream or river drainage system or watershed is diverted from its own bed, and flows instead down the bed of a neighbouring stream. This can happen for several reasons, including:Tectonic earth movements, where the slope of the land changes, and the stream is tipped out of its former course Natural damming, such as by a landslide or ice sheet Erosion, either Headward erosion of one stream valley upwards into another, or Lateral erosion of a meander through the higher ground dividing the adjacent streams. Within an area of karst topography, where streams may sink, or flow underground and then reappear in a nearby stream valley Glacier retreat
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