National Geographic : 1890 May
National Geographic Magazine. The generalizations here referred to may be presented in the form of a classification, following the ideas of Powell, Gilbert, Heim, Lowl and others, as follows : Consequent rivers.-Those that have in their birth, at the time of their original establishment on the country which they drain, selected courses in accordance with the constructional slopes of the surface ; for example, the Red River of the North and such of its branches as flow on the even surface of the lacustrine plain of Lake Agassiz ; the several streams that drain the broken lava blocks of Southern Oregon; certain streams and rivers of the Jura that drain the synclinal troughs of those mountains. Con sequent streams may be divided into definite and indefinite groups. Definite consequent streams are those that follow well defined constructional channels, such as the axial line of a syn clinal trough, or the lowest point of an anticlinal arch between two synclinal basins; they are defined in location as well as in direction. Indefinite consequent streams are those that flow down constructional slopes, such as the flanks of an anticline, but whose precise location depends on those minor inequalities of surface that we term accidental ; they are defined in direction but not in location ; and they are as a rule branches of definite consequent streams. Antecedent rivers.-Those that during and for a time after a disturbance of their drainage area maintain the courses that they had taken before the disturbance. In Powell's original definition of this class of rivers, he said that the valleys of the Uinta mountains are occupied by "drainage that was established ante cedent to the corrugation or displacement of the beds by faulting or folding."* No limit is set to the amount of corrugation or displacement or to the strength of the faulting or folding. It therefore seems advisable to consider what variations there may be from the strongly marked antecedent type ; one extreme being in those cases where the displacement was a minimum and the perseverance of the streams a maximum, the other where the dis placement was a maximum and the successful perseverance of the streams a minimum, or zero. The simplest examples of antece dent rivers are therefore found in regions that have been broadly elevated with the gentlest changes of slope, so as to enter a new cycle of topographic development, all the streams retaining their previous courses, but gaining ability to deepen their former chan * Colorado river of the West, 163.