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Interlocking spurs at Ashes Hollow, tributary to the River Severn
Interlocking spurs looking up Oxendale Beck, tributary to the River Brathay in Great Langdale, Cumbria

An interlocking spur is a natural geographical feature which occurs in a river's upper course, where vertical erosion is the dominant force in determining the river's course. As the river wanders between banks that are far apart, the promontories of the hills tend to jut out into the river valley in a staggered formation, interlocked together in a formation like the teeth of a zip. These promontories are referred to as interlocking spurs.

While similar in general appearance, the mechanism behind the formation of interlocking spurs is different to that behind meandering and they should not be confused.

If the valley experiences glaciation, the interlocking spurs are foreshortened as the tips are sheared off. These are referred to as truncated spurs.

How interlocking spurs are formed:

1) In upland areas, small streams begin to develop and erode the landscape.

2) The stream cuts vertically down the landscape.

3) A small v shaped valley is cut. Vertical erosion creates a narrow valley.

4) New slopes are created.

5) The edges of the new hill slopes are called spurs. They line up one after the other.



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