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学英语:河流为什么会转弯?-双语


Why Do Rivers Curve?

河流为什么会转弯?让北京翻译公司北京金橄榄外文翻译有限公司与您一起看看以下内容:


Compared to the whitewater streams that tumble down mountainsides, the meandering rivers of the plains may seem tame and lazy.


同山顶飞流直下溅出银白水花的湍流相比,平原上蜿蜒的河流就太无趣了点。


But mountain streams are corralled by the steep-walled valleys they carve.


不过山间的湍流被困于它们蚀刻出的深谷。


Their courses are literally set in stone.


水流游走于巨石之间。


Out on the open plains, those stony walls give way to soft soil,


到了开阔的平原,石壁被柔软的土壤取代,


allowing rivers much more freedom to shift their banks and set their own ever-changing courses to the sea.


河岸地势逐渐提高并由此奔向大海。


Courses that almost never run straight.


但奔流时从不直流而下。


At least not for long.


即使有,时间也不长。


Because all it takes to turn a straight stretch of river into a bendy one is a little disturbance and a lot of time.


因为把一条笔直的河流变成弯曲的河流所需要的只是一点小小的干扰和大量的时间。


And in nature, there's plenty of both.


自然中,这二者可不缺。


Say, for example, that a muskrat burrows herself a den in one bank of a stream.


比如一只麝鼠在河岸某侧打出一个洞。


Her tunnels make for a cozy home.


这地道是为温暖小窝造的。


But they also weaken the bank, which eventually begins to crumble and slump into the stream.


但削弱了河岸使其破裂并落入水流中。


Water rushes into the newly-formed hollow, sweeping away loose dirt and making the hollow even hollower.


水流冲入刚形成的洞中,带走松散的泥土,让洞更深。


Which lets the water rush a little faster and sweep away a little more dirt from the bank.


这也使水流流速加快,带走更多的泥土。


And so on, and so on.


周而复始。


As more of the stream's flow is diverted into the deepening hole on one bank and away from the other side of the channel,


由于有深坑一侧的河水流量更多,


the flow there weakens and slows.


在河的另一侧水流流速有所降低。


And since slow-moving water can't carry the sand-sized particles that fast-moving water can,


由于缓流携带砂砾的能力不及湍流,


that dirt drops to the bottom and builds up to make the water there even shallower and slower,


泥土便落在水底,逐渐堆积,使该处河水更浅、流速更慢,


and then keeps accumulating until the edge of the stream becomes new land on the inside bank.


泥土继续积聚直到内岸变成新的土地。


Meanwhile, the fast-moving water near the outside bank sweeps out of the curve with enough momentum to carry it across the channel and slam it into the other side,


与此同时,外岸处的湍流冲出弯曲处,带着足够的冲力横穿河道,撞在河岸另一侧,


where it starts to carve another curve.


并开始割出另一道弧。


And then another. And then another. And then another.


一道又一道,一处接一处,不断割裂。


The wider the stream, the longer it takes the slingshotting current to reach the other side,


河流越宽,弹弓般的水流到达对岸的时间就越长,


and the greater the downstream distance to the next curve.


弧间沿流距离也越长。


In fact, measurements of meandering streams all over the world reveal a strikingly regular pattern.


实际上,对全世界蜿蜒河流的测量结果展现了一个惊人的规律。


The length of one S-shaped meander tends to be about six times the width of the channel.


S形曲流的长度大约为河道宽度的6倍。


So little tiny meandering streams tend to look just like miniature versions of their bigger relatives.


所以,小弯流看上去正像是大弯的“迷你版”。


As long as nothing gets in the way of a river's meandering,


若河流弯曲时不受外界阻碍,


its curves will continue to grow curvier and curvier until they loop around and bumble into themselves.


其弯曲处的弧度会越来越大,直到形成环绕回自己身上。


When that happens, the river follows the straighter path downhill, leaving behind a crescent-shaped remnant called an oxbow lake.


此时,河道会沿一条直路流下山,留下新月状的“牛轭湖”。


Or a billabong.


或说“死河”(澳洲)。


Or a lago en herradura.


“马蹄湖”(西语)。


Or a bras mort.


“回水”(法语)。


We have lots of names for these lakes.


这种湖的叫法很多。


Since they can occur pretty much anywhere liquid flows, or used to.


在曾有过水流的地方都可能发生。


Which brings up an interesting question: what do the Martians call them?


这也引出了另一个奇妙的问题:火星人该怎么说呢?


来源:iyuba

 

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