Theoretical explanation for the incipient formation of meanders in straight rivers.
Advances a theoretical explanation for the lateral periodicity and geometric similarity of meanders observed in rivers of many sizes. Invoking the static equilibrium of a straight river bed, it is shown analytically that the equilibrium shape of the bed is a unique sinusoid. The theoretical wavelength of the sinusoidal shape is proportional to the width of the river, in agreement with visual observations of rivers of all sizes. -Author