Sunday, November 14, 2010

Forensic Geography: A Town's Present, A River's Past

While I was checking my hometown in Google Earth, I found a nearby small town established near a river. From these structures and buildings you can actually see how they had developed their settlement based on the river meander.

A meander is just a bend formed in the course of a river. It starts out from a straight course a river naturally follows. Then a small bend develops and it becomes more and more curved until it forms a curved U-shaped meander.

In the Google Earth images, you will notice that the town is mosly built on the side of the river. But there are some sites where the structures are built along a line a few distances away from the riverside. One can just assume that the river was previously located on this line and began meandering to the current location.

The bulk of the structures are built on the outer side of the meander. The area in the inner curve is devoid of many structures as these land masses were formed later.

It seems that one can speculate the geography of a place in the past by looking at the formation of structures at that same location in the present. Forensic Geography if you may.

(Images courtesy of Google Earth)

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