To explain the formation of meanders, the author has synthesized relevant knowledge and utilized basic physical principles of flowing turbulent water and its interaction with the river bed.

Starting from an initially straight and smooth channel, one can argue that the most probable site of the first erosional scar will be lateral from the centre of the river. This scar will then develop into a cavity, which in turn will affect the streamline situation of the flow. In front of the cavity the streamlines will converge, and behind it they will diverge. The diverging streamlines, together with unaffected or less affected streamlines, will then create a new convergence zone behind the first cavity but on the opposite side of the river's centre line. The ultimate and most probable and stable result will be a meander.

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