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Introduction to Drainage System

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Introduction to Drainage System - Lesson Summary

Drainage means the river system in a particular area. A river system consists of the total area covered by the tributaries and other water bodies that join the main river. A drainage basin is an area drained by a single river system. This eventually drains into a large water body, such as a lake, sea or an ocean. The drainage basin works as a funnel, by collecting all the water within the area and channeling it into a waterway.

The largest river basin in the world is the Amazon river basin. Drainage systems in India can broadly be categorized as Himalayan rivers and Peninsular rivers. The Himalayan rivers are fed by the snow melting from the mighty Himalayas and also seasonal rains, and hence these are perennial rivers.

Peninsular rivers originate in the central highlands of the peninsula, and depend solely on the rains, and, therefore, are seasonal. The four main drainage patterns are: Dendritic Drainage, Rectangular Drainage, Trellis Drainage and Radial Drainage.

The dendritic drainage pattern develops when the river follows the slope of the terrain. The rectangular drainage pattern develops on a strongly jointed rocky terrain.

A river joined by its tributaries at approximately right angles, develops a trellis pattern. The radial drainage pattern has a central peak or a dome-like elevation, from where the water flows in different directions.

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