A Brief Note on the Drainage Pattern of the Rivers


The joining of the tributaries with the master stream produces a pattern termed drainage pattern. This is largely a reflection of the effect of structure on streams. The most common drainage patterns are as follows:

(i) Dendritic :

It is characterized by irregular branching of tributary streams, in a similar pattern as that of a tree’s branches. This is characteristic of flat regions with broadly uniform composition.


(ii) Parallel pattern :

It develops on streep slopes where the tribu­taries and the master stream flow parallel to each other.

(iii) Trellis pattern :

It is a rectangular drainage pattern which develops when a consequent stream receives a number of subsequent streams from either side at approximately right angles.


It is mostly common in a topography created on a folded structure of synclines, anticlines, faults or joints.

(iv) Radial pattern :

It consists of drainage lines radiating from a central part as on a dome.

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