Cut bank

A cut bank, also known as a river cliff or river-cut cliff, is the outside bank of a water channel (stream), which is continually undergoing erosion.[1] Cut banks are found in abundance along mature or meandering streams, they are located on the outside of a stream bend, known as a meander, opposite the slip-off slope on the inside of the bend. They are shaped much like a small cliff, and are formed by the erosion of soil as the stream collides with the river bank. As opposed to a point bar, which is an area of deposition, a cut bank is an area of erosion.

Typically, cut banks are nearly vertical and often expose the roots of nearby plant life. Often, particularly during periods of high rainfall and higher-than average water levels, trees and poorly placed buildings can fall into the stream due to mass wasting events. Given enough time, the combination of erosion along cut banks and deposition along point bars can lead to the formation of an oxbow lake.

Not only are cut banks steep and unstable, they are also the area of a stream where the water is flowing the fastest at a higher pressure and often deeper, making them rather dangerous. In geology, this is known as an area of high-energy.

Material eroded here is deposited downstream in point bars.

Point bar and cut bank
Cut bank erosion and point bar deposition as seen on the Powder River in Montana.
Cut Bank Creek Montana
Cut banks along the Cut Bank Creek

See also


  1. ^ Essentials of Geology, 3rd Ed, Stephen Marshak
  • Tarbuck, E. J. and F. K. Lutgens. Earth, 7th Edition. Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2002. pp. 279, 286.
Alexis Wineman

Alexis Wineman is an autism advocate who was named Miss Montana 2012. She won the "America's Choice" award at the Miss America 2013 pageant and is the first known autistic contestant to compete in the Miss America pageant.

Blackfeet Nation

The Blackfeet Nation also known as the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation and headquarters for the Siksikaitsitapi people in the United States. Located in Montana, its members are composed primarily of the Piegan Blackfeet (Ampskapi Piikani) band of the larger ethnic group historically described as the Blackfoot Confederacy. It is located east of Glacier National Park and borders the Canadian province of Alberta. Cut Bank Creek and Birch Creek form part of its eastern and southern borders. The reservation contains 3,000 square miles (7,800 km2), twice the size of the national park and larger than the state of Delaware. It is located in parts of Glacier and Pondera counties.

The reservation is also east of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, which contains the Badger-Two Medicine area, sacred to the Blackfeet people. This sacred part of the Rocky Mountain Front was excluded from Blackfeet lands in a Treaty of 1896 but they reserved access, hunting and fishing rights. Since the early 1980s, when the Bureau of Land Management approved drilling rights leases without consultation with the tribe, the Blackfeet have worked to protect this sacred area, where they practiced their traditional religious rituals.

The federal government suspended all leasing activities for drilling in this area in the 1990s, and in 2007 the Bush administration made permanent a moratorium on issuing new permits. Many leaseholders had already relinquished their leases, and in November 2016 the Department of Interior announced the cancellation of the 15 drilling rights leases held by Devon Energy Corporation in the Badger-Two Medicine area. The Blackfeet had documented that the area was not a "wilderness," as the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex was designated in 1964, but a "human landscape" shaped by and integral to their culture.

Blainsburg, Pennsylvania

Blainsburg is an unincorporated outlier community of West Brownsville, PA; by tradition a hamlet sized neighborhood with more actual housing acreage than West Brownsville proper in Washington County, Pennsylvania, United States. Named after a U.S. Senator, James G. Blaine .

Blainsburg is part of the California Area School District . West Brownsville residence students attend Brownsville Area School District in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.The bedroom community is situated on the bluff above and slightly North-northwest of West Brownsville on the river bottom below.

Blainsburg is located alongside but above the climb PA Route 88 makes from the W. Brownsville river flats (Locally known as Blaine Hill Road) which bends right entering a shelf where it connects with the northwest streets of Blainsburg before taking a second ascent (now becoming California Road) towards California. The parent and child communities are on the inside curve of a great meander in the Monongahela River in Southwestern Pennsylvania creating a degraded cut bank turned ramp and terrace on the opposite shore where Brownsville is situated.Blainsburg is often misspelled with an "E" in it,to match the spelling of its namesake, James G. Blaine. Blainsburg as of official records was founded & is still spelled without the "E".

Cut Bank, Montana

Cut Bank is a city in and the county seat of Glacier County, Montana, United States, located just east of the "cut bank" (gorge) along Cut Bank Creek. The population was 2,869 at the 2010 census, and the estimated population in 2015 was 3,002.

Cut Bank (film)

Cut Bank is a 2014 American thriller film directed by Matt Shakman and written by Roberto Patino. Starring Liam Hemsworth, Billy Bob Thornton, John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer, and Michael Stuhlbarg, the film was selected to be screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. It was released in the United States on April 3, 2015, in a limited release and through video on demand by A24 Films.

Cut Bank Air Force Station

Cut Bank Air Force Station (Perm ID: P-24, SAGE ID: Z-24) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 30.4 miles (48.9 km) northwest of Cut Bank, Montana. It was closed in 1965.

Cut Bank Municipal Airport

Cut Bank Municipal Airport (IATA: CTB, ICAO: KCTB, FAA LID: CTB) is three miles southwest of Cut Bank, in Glacier County, Montana. It is owned by Cut Bank and Glacier County.The airport's website calls it Cut Bank International Airport. Its first flight was on 1 June 1941.

Cut Bank Ranger Station Historic District

The Cut Bank Ranger Station in Glacier National Park was one of the first buildings built in Glacier by the National Park Service. Built in 1917, the design is in keeping with park hotel structures built by the Great Northern Railway in a Swiss chalet style that predated the fully developed National Park Service Rustic style.The station was manned year-round until the late 1930s when it became a summer-only station. It was one of the first National Park Service-built facilities in Glacier. The design pre-dates the standardized National Park Service Rustic style, using a similar but simplified construction technique resembling pioneer construction. It is similar to the Saint Mary Ranger Station.A barn was added in 1935 by Civilian Conservation Corps labor, along with a woodshed. Both structures were built to adaptations of Park Service standard designs.

Cut Bank Township, Bottineau County, North Dakota

Cut Bank Township is a civil township in Bottineau County in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2010 census, its population was 37.

Danielle Wineman

Danielle Wineman is an American actress and beauty pageant titleholder from Cut Bank, Montana, who was named Montana's Junior Miss 2010 and crowned Miss Montana 2015. She competed for the Miss America 2016 title in September 2015. Her younger sister, Alexis Wineman, was crowned Miss Montana 2012.

Gerard Jones

Gerard Jones (born July 10, 1957) is an American writer, known primarily for his non-fiction work about American culture and media, and his comic book scripting for various publishers. He was sentenced to six years of imprisonment in 2018 for possession of child pornography.

Glacier County, Montana

Glacier County is located in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 13,399. The county is located in northwestern Montana between the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, known to the Blackfeet as the "Backbone of the World". The county is geographically and culturally diverse and includes the Blackfeet Native American Reservation, Glacier National Park, and Lewis and Clark National Forest. The county is bordered by 75 miles of international boundary with two ports of entry (Piegan and Del Bonita) open year-round and one seasonal (Chief Mountain) international border crossing into Alberta, Canada.

J. Hugo Aronson

John Hugo Aronson (September 1, 1891 – February 25, 1978) was an American politician from the Republican Party and the 14th Governor of the State of Montana.

Lake Cut Bank

Lake Cut Bank was a glacial lake formed during the late Pleistocene along the Missouri and Sun Rivers. After the Laurentide ice sheet retreated, water melting off the glacier accumulated between the Rocky Mountinas and the ice sheet. The lake drained along the front of the ice sheet, eastward towards the Judith River and the Missouri River.

The front of the Keewatin ice sheet completely blocked the valley of Cut Bank Creek so that for 20 miles (32 km) the ice dam was bordered by the water of an extensive lake, which has been designated glacial Lake Cut Bank. It is defined by the granitic pebbles and boulders on top of the hills southeast of Cut Bank and are present at several places in the basin farther north and west all below 4,000 feet (1,200 m). The pebbles were deposited from icebergs floating on the lake. The lake bottom is identified by the laminated silts over the flatter parts of the basin. The silts are up to 30 feet (9.1 m) as seen in some of the coulees. Additionally, stratified sand and gravel are visible in the basin. There is no defined shoreline. The lake has been mapped below 3,900 feet (1,200 m) contour, with shore like slopes between 3,900 and 4,000 feet (1,200 and 1,200 m). The Carlow Flat shows evidence of being submerged part of the time. About 8 metres (0.0080 km) southwest of Cut Bank the same granite pebbles are found at 4,050 feet (1,230 m). This is taken as the maximum and first lake level. The lake drained southward along the ice front. Later the water fell to 3,900 feet (1,200 m) and flowed through the sag occupied by ponds.The inner gorge of Cut Bank Creek formed after the glacial lake drained. The lake received runoff from the adjacent land area and from the north front of the Two Medicine Glacier for over 50 miles (80 km) (Squaw Buttes, southwest of Cut Bank, westward to the mountains). Cut Bank Glacier and the South Fork of the Milk River drained into Lake Cut Bank.

Water from the St. Mary Glacier and from both the mountain glaciers and the Keewatin ice sheet, north of the international boundary drained into the South Fork of the Milk River and then into glacial Lake Cut Bank. The glacial river channel is not abandoned. It runs form the Milk River northeast of Landslide Butte to the head of Rocky Coulee.

By assuming that each layer of the laminated clay deposited in this lake is a varve, representing one season's deposition, the longevity of the lake could be counted.

List of hospitals in Montana

List of hospitals in Montana (U.S. state), grouped by city and sorted by hospital name.

List of newspapers in Montana

This is a list of newspapers in Montana.

Anaconda Leader - Anaconda

Belgrade News - Belgrade

Big Horn County News - Hardin

The Big Sky Weekly - Big Sky

The Big Timber Pioneer - Big Timber

Bigfork Eagle - Bigfork

Billings Gazette - Billings

Billings Outpost - Billings

Billings Times - Billings

The Bitterroot Star - Stevensville

Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - Lincoln

Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - Chinook

Boulder Monitor - Boulder

Bozeman Daily Chronicle - Bozeman

Carbon County News - Red Lodge

Cascade Courier - Cascade

Char-Koosta News - Pablo

Choteau Acantha - Choteau

Circle Banner - Circle

Clark Fork Valley Press - Plains

Cut Bank Pioneer Press - Cut Bank

Daily Inter Lake - Kalispell

Daniels County Leader - Scobey

Dillon Tribune - Dillon

The Ekalaka Eagle - Ekalaka

The Exponent - Bozeman

Fairfield Sun Times - Fairfield

Fallon County Times - Baker

Flathead Beacon - Kalispell

Glacier-Reporter - Browning

Glasgow Courier - Glasgow

Glendive Ranger-Review - Glendive

Great Falls Tribune - Great Falls

Havre Daily News - Havre

The Herald-News - Wolf Point

Hungry Horse News - Columbia Falls

The Independent-Observer - Conrad

Independent Press - Forsyth

Independent Record - Helena

Jordan Tribune - Jordan

Judith Basin Press - Stanford

Kootenai Valley Record - Libby

Lake County Leader - Polson

Laurel Outlook - Laurel

Lewistown News-Argus - Lewistown

Liberty County Times - Chester

Livingston Enterprise - Livingston

The Local Rag - Red Lodge

Lone Peak Lookout - Big Sky

The Madisonian - Ennis

Meagher County News - White Sulphur Springs

Miles City Star - Miles City

Mineral Independent - Plains

The Missoula Independent - Missoula

Missoulian - Missoula

The Montana Catholic - Helena

Montana Kaimin - Missoula

Montana Standard - Butte

The Montanian - Libby

The Mountaineer - Big Sandy

Phillips County News - Malta

The Philipsburg Mail - Philipsburg

Powder River Examiner - Broadus

Ravalli Republic - Hamilton

The River Press - Fort Benton

The Roundup - Sidney

Roundup Record-Tribune - Roundup

Sanders County Ledger - Thompson Falls

The Searchlight - Culbertson

Seeley Swan Pathfinder - Seeley Lake

Shelby Promoter - Shelby

Sheridan County News - Plentywood

Sidney Herald - Sidney

Silver State Post - Deer Lodge

Stillwater County News - Columbus

Terry Tribune - Terry

Three Forks Herald - Three Forks

The Times-Clarion - Harlowton

Tobacco Valley News - Eureka

Townsend Star - Townsend

The Valierian - Valier

Valley Journal - Ronan

West Shore News - Bigfork

West Yellowstone News - West Yellowstone

The Western News - Libby

Whitefish Pilot - Whitefish

Whitehall Ledger - Whitehall

The Wibaux Pioneer-Gazette - Wibaux

Yellowstone County News - Huntley


A meander is one of a series of regular sinuous curves, bends, loops, turns, or windings in the channel of a river, stream, or other watercourse. It is produced by a stream or river swinging from side to side as it flows across its floodplain or shifts its channel within a valley. A meander is produced by a stream or river as it erodes the sediments comprising an outer, concave bank (cut bank) and deposits this and other sediment downstream on an inner, convex bank which is typically a point bar. The result of sediments being eroded from the outside concave bank and their deposition on an inside convex bank is the formation of a sinuous course as a channel migrates back and forth across the down-valley axis of a floodplain. The zone within which a meandering stream shifts its channel across either its floodplain or valley floor from time to time is known as a meander belt. It typically ranges from 15 to 18 times the width of the channel. Over time, meanders migrate downstream, sometimes in such a short time as to create civil engineering problems for local municipalities attempting to maintain stable roads and bridges.The degree of meandering of the channel of a river, stream, or other watercourse is measured by its sinuosity. The sinuosity of a watercourse is the ratio of the length of the channel to the straight line down-valley distance. Streams or rivers with a single channel and sinuosities of 1.5 or more are defined as meandering streams or rivers.

Point bar

A point bar is a depositional feature made of alluvium that accumulates on the inside bend of streams and rivers below the slip-off slope. Point bars are found in abundance in mature or meandering streams. They are crescent-shaped and located on the inside of a stream bend, being very similar to, though often smaller than, towheads, or river islands.

Point bars are composed of sediment that is well sorted and typically reflects the overall capacity of the stream. They also have a very gentle slope and an elevation very close to water level. Since they are low-lying, they are often overtaken by floods and can accumulate driftwood and other debris during times of high water levels. Due to their near flat topography and the fact that the water speed is slow in the shallows of the point bar they are popular rest stops for boaters and rafters. However, camping on a point bar can be dangerous as a flash flood that raises the stream level by as little as a few inches (centimetres) can overwhelm a campsite in moments.

A point bar is an area of deposition whereas a cut bank is an area of erosion.

Point bars are formed as the secondary flow of the stream sweeps and rolls sand, gravel and small stones laterally across the floor of the stream and up the shallow sloping floor of the point bar.

Wind power in Montana

Wind power in Montana is a growing industry. Montana had over 695 MW of wind generation capability by 2016, responsible for 7.6% of in-state electricity generation.

Large-scale features
Alluvial rivers
Bedrock river
Regional processes

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