Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta, with the flow from right to left, showing several streams branching off from their main streams

A distributary, or a distributary channel, is a stream that branches off and flows away from a main stream channel, a phenomenon known as river bifurcation. A distributary is effectively the opposite of a tributary, which is a stream that flows towards and into another stream or river. Distributaries are often found where a stream approaches a lake or an ocean; as such, they are a common feature of river deltas. They can also occur inland, on alluvial fans, or where a tributary stream bifurcates as it nears its confluence with a larger stream. In some cases, a minor distributary can divert so much water from the main channel that it can later become the main route.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia · View on Wikipedia

Developed by Nelliwinne