and Watersheds - Vertical Instability
The other type
of instability occurs when a stream cuts deeper into its bed material.
This is referred to as vertical instability, downcutting, or incisement
Downcutting is most likely in systems which experience
intense high flows over short periods of time.
Downcutting may be caused by natural circumstances, but it is more
often the result of human activities. Of the two types of instability,
vertical instability is more significant because it is more likely
to lead to a fundamental change in the riparian area due to a lowering
of the water table and subsequent changes in plant communities.
downcutting is often more difficult to control than lateral cutting.