You don't have to go all the way to Kazakhstan for nice examples of entrenched meanders. In fact, there is a sweet set along the Potomac River in the Valley & Ridge physiographic province of the Appalachian mountain belt. These meanders are named for the nearby town of Paw Paw, West Virginia. While that sounds like the most hick name imaginable, it's actually named after a local tree with surprisingly tasty fruits.The Paw Paw Bends (39.5836 Lat, -79.3986 Long) were the site of an extremely costly mistake on the part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which otherwise follows the north bank of the Potomac River with high fidelity. However, because of the sinuous course of the river here, Canal engineers decided to dig a 3/5-mile-long tunnel through a nearby ridge as a shortcut. Unfortunately, the highly folded Brallier Shale (Devonian) that made up the mountain's interior collapsed repeatedly and constantly, retarding the progress of the entire Canal. The tunnel took 14 years to complete, a delay that doomed the Canal to obsolescence (in favor of the railroad).
The Paw Paw Bends: entrenched meanders along the Potomac River ((tags: appalachian, fluvial, mountain belt))