A stream bed armored with rocks
Aubach (Wiehl) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Vivari Channel in Albania links Lake Butrint with the Straits of Corfu.
The old bed of the Mississippi River near Kaskaskia, Illinois, left behind after the river shifted
Rocky stream in Italy
Wooden pilings mark the navigable channel for vessels entering Lake George from the St. Johns River in Florida.
A woman digs in a dry stream bed in Kenya to find water during a drought.
Frozen stream in Enäjärvi, Pori, Finland
Stream near Montriond in southeastern France
Wyming Brook in Sheffield, UK
A small stream in Lake Parramatta, Sydney
Stream with low gradient surrounded by natural riparian vegetation (Rhineland-Palatinate)
A low level stream in Macon County, Illinois, US
Small tributary stream, Diamond Ridge, Alaska, US
Creek in Perisher Ski Resort, Australia
Stream in Southbury, US
Australian creek, low in the dry season, carrying little water. The energetic flow of the stream had, in flood, moved finer sediment further downstream. There is a pool to lower right and a riffle to upper left of the photograph.
Stream in Alberta
A small, narrow stream flowing down a tiny dell in Pennsylvania.

A stream bed or streambed is the channel bottom of a stream or river, the physical confine of the normal water flow.

- Stream bed

A stream is a continuous body of surface water flowing within the bed and banks of a channel.

- Stream

As a general rule, the bed is the part of the channel up to the normal water line, and the banks are that part above the normal water line.

- Stream bed

A stream channel is the physical confine of a stream (river) consisting of a bed and stream banks.

- Channel (geography)
A stream bed armored with rocks

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The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue).


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The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue).
The start of a mountain stream.
Melting toe of Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
The Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
The Porvoo River (Porvoonjoki) in the medieval town of Porvoo, Finland
Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. The Nile is an example of a wave-dominated delta that has the classic Greek letter delta (Δ) shape after which river deltas were named.
A radar image of a 400 km river of methane and ethane near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
River meandering course
Flash flooding caused by a large amount of rain falling in a short amount of time
The mouth of the River Seaton in Cornwall after heavy rain caused flooding and significant erosion of the beach.
Frozen river in Alaska
Leisure activities on the River Avon at Avon Valley Country Park, Keynsham, United Kingdom. A boat giving trips to the public passes a moored private boat.
Watermill in Belgium.
River bank repair

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.

A river begins at a source (or more often several sources) which is usually a watershed, drains all the streams in its drainage basin, follows a watercourse, and ends at either at a mouth or mouths which could be a confluence, river delta, etc. The water in a river is usually confined to a channel, made up of a stream bed between banks.

Diagram of a river's left and right banks

Bank (geography)

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Land alongside a body of water.

Land alongside a body of water.

Diagram of a river's left and right banks
A sloping sandy point bar (close side) and the vegetation-stabilized cut bank (far side) on the Namoi River in New South Wales, Australia. These two constitute the banks of the river.
A man-made lake in Keukenhof with grass banks
An eastern bank of the Pielisjoki in Joensuu, Finland

In limnology (the study of inland waters), a stream bank or river bank is the terrain alongside the bed of a river, creek, or stream.

The bank consists of the sides of the channel, between which the flow is confined.