flood plain

a nearly flat plain along the course of a stream or river that is naturally subject to flooding.
Also, floodplain.


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World English Dictionary
flood plain
the flat area bordering a river, composed of sediment deposited during flooding

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
If a river floods repeatedly, over time this sediment will build up into a
  flood plain.
Each year, the river overflowed, spreading rich sediment across its broad flood
If the water spreads out over a flood plain, it is much more shallow than it
  would be if still contained in the river.
Historically, such settlements have clung to the higher ground on the flood
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