basin

Science Dictionary
basin   (bā'sĭn)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A region drained by a river and its tributaries.

  2. A low-lying area on the Earth's surface in which thick layers of sediment have accumulated. Some basins are bowl-shaped while others are elongate. Basins form through tectonic processes, especially in fault-bordered intermontane areas or in areas where the Earth's crust has warped downwards. They are often a source of valuable oil.

  3. An artificially enclosed area of a river or harbor designed so that the water level remains unaffected by tidal changes.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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