Drainage System of India

  • Drainage: Flow of water through well-defined channels. Network of such channels is called a drainage system .
  • Drainage basin: An area drained by a river and its tributaries.
  • Watershed: Boundary line separating one drainage basin from other.
  • River basins are larger watersheds.
  • Drainage pattern of an area depends on the geological time period, nature and structure of rocks, topography, rocks, slope, amount of water and periodicity of flow.

Important drainage patterns:

  1. Dendritic: Resembling the branches of a tree. Eg. Northern Plain rivers
  2. Radial: Originate from a hill and flow in all directions. Eg. Rivers in Amarkantak
  3. Trellis: Primary tributaries parallel to each other and secondary tributaries join them at right angles.
  4. Centripetal: Rivers discharge waters from all directions in a lake or depression

A river drains the water collected from a specific area, which is called its catchment area.

Nearly 77 pc of drainage is towards the Bay of Bengal while about 23 pc is towards the Arabian Sea.

The Himalayan Drainage System

Mainly includes the Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra river basins.

Over the plains, rivers of this system change the course often. River Kosi is also known as the ‘sorrow of Bihar’ due to flooding by its frequent change of course by deposition of sediments.

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