Ox-bow Lake – An arc-shaped lake which has been cut off from a meandering river
To learn what an ox-bow lake is, it helps if you know what an ox bow is:
As you can see, an ox bow is a U-shaped piece of wood used as a collar for an ox, the upper parts fastened to its yoke.
So, now you can see that an ox-bow is U-shaped, you can recognise an ox-bow lake, as below:
It will help you further if you know how they are formed:
The outside of the bends are eroded while particles carried by the water are deposited on the insides:
Over time, the bend changes shape:
The river eventually flows through the remaining narrow gap and the land is sealed off by further deposits from the water, leaving behind an ox-bow lake:
The last stage of the formation of the ox-bow lake often happens during a flood, when the river cuts through the narrow neck of the meander.
As the river continues on its new, straighter path, the meander is abandoned.
The fastest current will now be flowing in the centre of the river channel and deposition is more likely to occur beside the banks.
New deposition seals off the ends and the cut-off becomes an ox-bow lake.