Abstract

The development of very regular sinuous meanders in laminar-flow surface-tension streams on a Perspex plate produces regularity of the meanders in the absence of random influences, which suggests that meander formation is not an essentially random process. The conspicuously convex-downslope shape of individual curves, often recognizable in regular river meanders, suggests that models which predict symmetrical meander curves are incomplete; study of the propagation sequence of meanders suggests that no intrinsic hydraulic phenomenon, such as reversal of secondary circulation, is needed to explain the regular reversal of meander curvature; the increasing irregularity of meanders as fluid turbulence increases suggests that meander irregularity results from random disturbances to the basically regular meandering tendency. Similarities of shape and behavior suggest that surface-tension meanders offer a useful analogy through which river meanders may be better understood.

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