American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A branch of a river that flows away from the main stream.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Distributing; distributive; designed for distribution.
- n. In physical geography, an outflowing branch of a river, such as occurs characteristically on a delta.
- n. hydrology A branch of a river delta; a channel that distributes a river's waters into the sea, as with the Atchafalaya River of the Mississippi.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Tending to distribute or be distributed; that distributes; distributive.
- n. a branch of a river that flows away from the main stream and does not rejoin it
- dis- + tribute + -ary (Wiktionary)
“Muddy floodwaters rise and spread over deltaic wetlands from main and so-called distributary channels, transporting mass and energy laterally across the delta, in essence nourishing the landscape.”
“Currently, it has sought to divert more of its flow to the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi and Red Rivers, into the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in the United States.”
“The Sanctuary is in the basin of the brackish Djoudj bayou (distributary or marigot) between the main river channel to the north and the Gorom bayou to the south.”
“The distributary channels and alluvial fans at the mouths of the Flinders, Mitchell, Gilbert, Leichardt, McArthur, and Roper Rivers have extended the seaward edge of the plains.”
“Although the Niger presents a zoogeographic barrier to some degree, the situation in reality is far more complex since the narrower distributary delta channels allow species to move from one side of the Niger River to the other.”
“The reductions in sediment discharge, as a consequence of damming, have caused a major retreat of the (formerly prograding) distributary mouths at Damietta and Rosetta where coastal defences have been installed in an attempt to arrest the retreat.”
“Just before the settlers arrived, some 9,500 years ago, the Çarsamba River, a distributary of which once ran right next to the mound, began depositing layers of broad alluvial sediments.”
“Or, as Mellaart had suggested, did they move across a distributary of the Çarsamba River to the West Mound, a smaller Chalcolithic settlement with lots of painted pottery?”
“An alternative course is to leave the choice of crops to the cultivator, within limits as to total water requirements, and to work out a delivery schedule which meets the summation of these demands in each minor or distributary command from month to month.”
“Considerable ingenuity can be exercised by the cultivators in such operations, for instance herding water-buffaloes into a distributary canal, as a portable dam, causing the upstream level to rise and break through, with major flow into a nearby drainage channel from which water flows to the fields of the perpetrators.”
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