alluvial fan

Science Dictionary
alluvial fan   (ə-l'vē-əl)  Pronunciation Key 
A fan-shaped mass of sediment, especially silt, sand, gravel, and boulders, deposited by a river when its flow is suddenly slowed. Alluvial fans typically form where a river pours out from a steep valley through mountains onto a flat plain. Unlike deltas, they are not deposited into a body of standing water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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