and Watersheds - Stable versus Unstable
are dynamic, but not all streams are unstable.
A stable stream - over the course of time - remains in equilibrium
with the amount of water and sediment the stream has to carry.
An unstable stream, on the other hand, is "out of balance"
in that it can no longer do what is required of it.
One of the difficulties
in determining stability and instability is that nature does not
always operate on our time scale. Thus, it is sometimes difficult
to determine exactly when a change in the system reflects dynamic
variation within a long time frame or instability resulting from
short term impacts (Figure 1-11).
Braided channels may be an indication of excessive sediment