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Jheel


Jheel a local term representing a reach of an old river channel bed. Usually it appears as an oxbow lake. It may originate in two ways: (i) when a river changes its course, the old course remains abandoned and in course of time its mouth gets totally clogged with silt. The channel becomes a receiving basin of local surface runoff water; (ii) In an extremely curved channel meander the river straightens its course through plugging the narrow neck between adjacent reaches. The meander loop thus gets separated and both ends are rapidly filled by bed material washed in by eddies. An oxbow lake is then created. Jheels are commonly seen in the southwestern Ganges deltaic parts of the country. They remain deeply flooded in the wet season and are considered as rich fishing grounds. In dry season, jheel lands are used for agriculture and as pasture for cattle. The high lands along the margins are usually occupied for human settlements, as they are relatively flood-free. The immediate lands adjacent to the highlands are shallowly flooded and are primarily used for agriculture. The portions of lands which dry up during winter are used for boro cultivation. [Mohd Shamsul Alam]

See also beel.