High Water

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Related to High Water: low water, High water mark

high water

[′hī ¦wȯd·ər]

High Water


the relatively prolonged and significant rise in the water level of a river; it occurs each year at the same season. High water is usually associated with the overflowing of the channel and flooding of the floodplain. It is caused by prolonged, intensified influx of water from the spring melting of snow on plains, the summer thawing of snow and glaciers in mountains, or heavy seasonal rains (for example, related to summer monsoons). High water caused by the spring thaw is typical for rivers that flow through plains. They include rivers in which spring runoff is predominant (for example, the Volga and Ural) and rivers in which summer runoff is greater (for example, the Anadyr’, Yukon, and Mackenzie). High water caused by summer thawing of mountain snow and ice is typical of the rivers of Middle Asia, the Caucasus, and the Alps. High water caused by summer monsoonal rains characterizes the rivers of Southeast Asia (for example, the Yangtze and Mekong).

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