Definition of Stream Order

The stream order is a term that is being defined as the positive whole number which is implied in geomorphology and hydrology. It is also known as waterbody order and it determines the extent to which the river system is branched.


Several approaches are used in the ordering of the rivers or the portions of rivers based on either their distance from the source point or from the point where the two rivers are merged (confluence) or their branching position within the river or stream system. The main purpose of this approach is to enable the systematic labelling and mapping of the river system.

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