Write down the differences between a delta and an estuary



Write down the differences between a delta and an estuary.

  • It is a triangular-shaped piece of land, formed at the mouth of a river, where it meets the sea.
  • With the continuous deposition of silt on its bed, a river goes on splitting itself into channels or distributaries. They carry river water into the sea.
  • Delta shows an extension of land into sea. It is continuously growing seawards.
  • The sea is shallow. Tidal currents are not strong enough to remove deposits effectively.
  • The world’s largest and the fastest growing delta is the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta known as the Sunderban delta. Peninsular rivers like the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri also form big deltas.


  • An estuary is an inlet formed generally by the submergence of the mouth of a river.
  • It has a single mouth or channel. It has steep banks or slopes. Where an estuary is formed, sea is deep.
  • Strong tidal waves carry away the little amount of sediments deposited by a river.
  • Estuaries produce an indented coastline and provide sites of natural harbours. They create conditions for better navigation.
  • The mouths of rivers Narmada and Tapi present good examples of estuaries.