freshet

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freshet

1. the sudden overflowing of a river caused by heavy rain or melting snow
2. a stream of fresh water emptying into the sea

Freshet

 

a comparatively short and aperiodic rise in the water level of a river occurring as a result of the rapid melting of snow in a thaw, the melting of glaciers, abundant rainfall, or the release of water from reservoirs. Unlike seasonal high water, a freshet may occur at any time of the year. If a freshet occurs because of a rapid increase in the discharge of water in a certain segment of a river, it rapidly spreads downstream at up to 5 km/hr in rivers on level ground and 45 km/hr in mountain rivers. The height of such a freshet usually decreases downstream, but its duration increases. A large freshet may cause a flood.

freshet

[′fresh·ət]
(hydrology)
The annual spring rise of streams in cold climates as a result of melting snow.
A flood resulting from either rain or melting snow; usually applied only to small streams and to floods of minor severity.
A small fresh-water stream.