Word of the Day – Tuesday, November 30th

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RIA (REE-uh)

A river valley drowned by a rise in sea level.

Common clues: Creek; Fjord's kin; Coastline feature; Cove; Wedge-shaped inlet; Narrow inlet; Estuary; Drowned valley

Crossword puzzle frequency: 4 times a year

Frequency in English language: 59189 / 86800

A ria is a submergent coastal landform, often known as a drowned valley or drowned river valley. Rias are almost always estuaries. Rias form when sea levels rise or plate tectonics cause coastal levels to fall. When this happens valleys which were previously at sea level become submerged. The result is often a very large estuary at the mouth of a relatively insignificant river.

Port Hacking, in the southern suburbs of Sydney (Australia) is a ria, or drowned river valley. The deeply indented shape of the ria reflects the dendritic pattern of drainage that existed before the rise in sea level that flooded the valley.

The south coast of England is a submergent coastline, and contains many rias, including Portsmouth harbour, Southampton water, Poole harbour; the estuaries of the Exe, Teign and Dart, the Kingsbridge estuary, and Plymouth Sound in Devon; and the estuaries of the River Fowey and River Fal in Cornwall. Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, on the east coast of the United States, and San Francisco Bay, on the Pacific coast, are rias.

The Kingsbridge estuary is an extreme example of a ria forming an estuary disproportionate to the size of its river, because no river flows into it at all, only a number of small streams.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ria".  

RIA (210) 51 We- >1 07 Narrow inlet

34 We- >1 04 Inlet ARM

31 Tu+ >1 03 River inlet

25 We+ >1 03 Estuary ARM

12 Fr- >1 96 Creek

6 Mo >1 06 Long, narrow inlet

4 Th- >1 02 Fjord's kin

4 We- >1 03 Narrow waterway

3 Fr- >1 09 Coastline feature

3 Th >1 07 Fjord cousin

3 Tu >1 96 Small inlet

2 Sa- NYT 09 Coastal feature

2 Fr- >1 98 Cove BAY

2 Fr NYT 08 Rugged coastline feature

2 >1 05 Wedge-shaped inlet

1 Sa NYT 94 Calm waters site

1 Mo NYT 07 Coastal inlet

1 We CSy 05 Crossword creek

1 We CSy 02 Crossworder's creek

00 Drowned valley

1 Th LAT 07 England's Portsmouth Harbour, for one

1 Fr LAT 99 Espana estuary

1 Th WaP 99 Estuary in Espana

1 We Tau 09 Fjord relative

1 We CSy 01 Fjord's Spanish kin