The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. The specific issue is: only in the US would you define a reach between arbitrary features; normally they are set by the physics of sail (December 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Reaches are often named by those using the river, and a reach may be named for landmarks, natural features, and historical reasons (see, for instance, Gallions' Reach, named after the family that once owned its banks).
A reach may be an expanse, or widening, of a stream or river channel. This commonly occurs after the river or stream is dammed. A reach is similar to an arm, though an arm may bend and thus have multiple reaches. The term "reach" can also refer to a level stretch, as between river rapids or locks in a canal. The word may also be used more generally to refer to any extended portion or stretch of land or water, or even metaphorically.
In fluvial hydrology, a reach is a convenient subdivision of study; it may be any length of river of fairly uniform characteristics, or the length between gauging stations, or simply the length of a watercourse between any two defined points. These may be measured in terms of river miles.
Example: Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington State, US. The last significant free-running (undammed) section of the Columbia River in the US
- Macfarlane, Robert, "Landmarks", Hamish Hamilton Press, 2015
- Oxford English dictionary, reach, n., third meaning ("part of a river which can be looked upon at once between two bends")
- Hydrologic Definitions, Science in Your Watershed, USGS
- "Glossary: stream-related terms". Streamnet. 7 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-12-07.
- USGS Survey GNIS Database