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Diagram of a meander forming

A meander is a curve in a river. Meanders are not caused by rivers going around hills or mountains. It is called meandering when a river curves back and forth across a flat flood plain. Slip off slopes are formed on the inside of the bend from deposition and river cliffs are formed on the outside of the bend from erosion. Eventually meanders turn into ox-bow lakes when two outside bends erode together making a shorter route for the water.