You divide your flow among multiple channels with different velocities spread over a broad area downstream of some vast supply of sediment. And remember: moving sediment is a river’s life task.
As in the following photograph, you may be just coming out of mountains — a quick intense start of some kind — onto a spacious valley with a slower rate of change where you’re now dealing with the many details and logistics of a big open world. You’re in a natural transition state, one in which there are no normal “stable” banks or boundaries.
Folks may try to direct your course and velocity – digging canals or that building up berms will define your edges. Don’t let them. Any such changes to your instinctively variable shape and steepness are likely to cause you to down-cut into your still-soft foundation.
You are all over the place, and that’s fine. You might think you’re embarrassingly raw-looking, but you are healthy and beautiful in a wild way — you’re the reason more established channels sigh with longing when they think of Alaska. Calmer, more defined times will come. For now, hang out with the grizzlies.
Rakaia River, Canterbury New Zealand, istock photo
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[This personality typing system is based on the Rosgen Stream Classification System developed by Dave Rosgen of Wildland Hydrology and presented in his book Applied River Morphology and his Catena journal article — not that he has endorsed using it for personality typing!]