[Tagging] [Tagging ] How to tag a paleochannel of a river

Volker Schmidt voschix at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 10:00:53 UTC 2021

Thalweg is English, the German original is Talweg. It's on Wikipedia with a
nice picture. But that is not related to the thing I want to describe. My
objects are often highly visible from above, but you don't see them on the
ground. As many roadways are conditioned by them (tehy are build on the
dykes that run along the old river beds, these are important large-scale
landscape features.
A related term in german is Altarm, which is similar to the Oxbow. Normally
with water in them. There are hundreds of them on the River Rhine between
Basel and Mannheim. The present-day "river" on that stretch is in reality
an artificial canal built in the 19th century by one of the biggest
transnational engineering efforts in Europe. See the pictures on the
Wikipedia page https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinbegradigung.


On Sat, 13 Mar 2021 at 09:57, stevea <steveaOSM at softworkers.com> wrote:

> A fascinating discussion, as I know oxbows in rivers and the oxbow lakes
> they might create, though I am unclear on why or whether OSM might, do or
> should tag these.  Usually in cases like these (this is me, but I think it
> wide practice), I tend towards the side of "be generous, allowing the
> wider, more expansively-described tagging."  So, "yes" to oxbow, whether on
> a river or as a lake created by what I understand to be "the oxbow
> process."  A hydrologist could fully explain this process (which is part
> geological, part hydrological, IIRC).  As Bert suggests, a wiki about this
> might also describe a hydrologist-informed lifecycle including that these
> can and do turn into swamps over a decades-to-centuries time scale.
> Similarly, polder.  There is such a thing and I'm a bit surprised we
> haven't developed a tag for it (even if it IS simply landuse=polder),
> although let's be careful with landUSE as a key for this, it might imply
> all polders "act like a polder," which may or may not be true.
> What I have never heard before is "paleochannel," and US English is my
> native tongue.  (The word does not appear in my US English dictionaries,
> either).  I'm sure it is really "something," (perhaps only in a highly
> specialized or technical realm, it has that sort of feel about it) though
> how it differs from "oxbow," I don't know.  But "oxbow" is a real word.
> (It is also a U-shaped collar of an ox yoke, hence being applied to rivers
> and the lakes resulting from the oxbow geological / hydrological process).
> There is also something about a river called the "thalweg" (German,
> valley/dale + way) meaning "a line connecting the lowest points of
> successive cross-sections along the course of a valley or river."  Some
> places use this as a more-exact legal boundary in larger rivers that define
> boundaries.
> Fascinating, the places OSM goes.
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