Today’s Spotlight, courtesy of Scott McCoy, is a shaded relief map of part of the Dan River basin in Virginia, with blues indicating lower elevations and reds indicating higher elevations.
Large river networks — such as those that funnel into the Colorado and Mississippi rivers — may seem to be permanent features of a landscape. In fact, many rivers define political boundaries that have been in place for centuries.
But scientists have long suspected that river networks are not as static as they may appear, and have gathered geologic and biological evidence that suggest many rivers have been “rewired,” shifting and moving across a landscape over millions of years.
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