How can you determine which way a river is flowing on a topographic map?

a) It flows parallel to the curves on the map. b) It flows perpendicular to the curves on the map. c)It flows from lines that are closer to lines that are farther apart. d)It flows from lines that are farther apart to lines that are closer.


Water flows Downhill. A, B, or C could be correct. You need to look at the numbers assigned to the contour lines. If there is a Valley and the contour lines show the sides of the valley then A would be correct. If there is a Waterfall then C is correct, Which would make B also correct. D is the only one not correct.


Look at the contours which cross the river. They will give to an idea of the shape of the valley and will make a "v" shape. The "V" will point uphill. If there is no obvious "V", then look at the values on the contours to see which is higher.


It is very easy on a topographic map, as those have contour lines with heights stated, and rivers of course flow downhill. On a map without topographic information and which does not include either the source of the river or the sea, it can be more difficult.