broad slope of debris spread along the lower slopes of mountains by descending streams, usually found in arid or semiarid climates; the term was adopted because of its use in the U.S. Southwest. A bajada is often formed by the coalescing of several alluvial fans. Such coalescent fans are often mistaken for erosional landforms known as pediments. The repeated shifting of a debouching stream from one side of a fan to the other spreads the sediment widely and almost uniformly. As the sediment eventually grows together, the slope may extend outward from the mountain front to a distance of several kilometres. A bajada is usually composed of gravelly alluvium and may even have large boulders interbedded in it. The slope is usually less than 7. In humid climates, landforms of this nature are usually referred to as piedmonts.
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