National Geographic : 1896 Sep
298 TOPOGRAPHIC TERMS OF SPANISH AMERICA still used for the line of hills forming the scarp of the plateau region of Texas, between Austin and the Rio Grande. NAMES APPLIED TO STREAMS AND STREAM VALLEYS The Spanish language, judging from the application of the terms, is exceedingly rich in appropriate names for both stream courses and the forms of the stream basins. The following are a few of the words applied to the streams proper: Rio.- A flowing river; the arterial trunk of a drainage system. Cala.-A creek, corresponding to the laterals of the main drainage. Caleta (leading into). - This is a useful word for the ultimate and small est headwater ramification of a cala or lateral, It is synonymous with the term " draw," used in the middle Plains region of the United States, the " coulee" of Montana, and " drain" as used in Colorado. Arroyo. - A streamway, ordinarily dry, in which water occurs only im mediately after a torrential rainfall. There are also many terms describing certain characteristic aqueous conditions frequently met with in our arid region, such as ojo, agua, tinaja, cienega, ensenada, laguna, etc. The Spanish language likewise presents a rich assortment of appropriate terms descriptive of the form of the stream valley or drainage basin. Barranca.- A gorge of the first magnitude in a mountain region. The valley of the Arkansas through the Rockies is a barranca; the Royal gorge is a cafion in the lower portion of the barranca. Cafon. - A generic term for a streamway having very steep walls and a narrow gorge. Its use conveys two ideas, verticality of wall and nar rowness of the valley. Cajon.- A cafion having vertical walls like the sides of a box. Tijera. -A cafion with angular walls having the profile of a letter V. Canoncita. -A small cafion. Canada.- Thesmallest caifon. Plaza. -The plaza described under the general head of plains belongs also under the head of drainage valleys. It resembles the cafion in that it is bordered by subvertical walls, but differs in that its bottom instead of being narrow is of great breadth. Rincon.- Literally a corner; a short, wide arm of a plaza indenting a mesa, receiving drainage at its inner end, and opening into a plaza. Quebrada. -Thisword literally means a ravine, and is extensively used in Guatemala and other Central American states. Boca (mouth).-Where a streamway suddenly leaves a barranca, tijera, cation, or other precipitous gorge, and debouches on a plain, the point is called a boca. The bocas of Spanish America are conspicuous and inter esting features. Foso (a ditch).- A streamway without conspicuous banks or bluffs. Callejon. -A deep and narrow pass through a sierra. Angostura. - A narrow pass through a ceja.