It's not a peninsula, is it?
April 5, 2011 6:32 AM   Subscribe

You know how two rivers converge into one, and there's the little peninsula-like...thing that exists at the point of convergence? What do you call that?

Example outside Memphis, Tennessee here. Thanks!
posted by mdonley to Science & Nature (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Xany at 6:37 AM on April 5, 2011

posted by pwally at 6:38 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Spur: a narrow neck of highland extending into a river valley, often forming the divide between two tributaries.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:40 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by halcyon_daze at 6:43 AM on April 5, 2011

Point (cite, cite).
posted by The Michael The at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Hmmm . . . I'm not sure there's a universally accepted geographic term for that.

Many proper names for these places use the word "point."

Generically, how about spit?
posted by General Tonic at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2011

In Urdu and Punjabi we call it a doab (literally two waters).

It's a spur if it's a highland, but not otherwise.
posted by bardophile at 6:45 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

In Pittsburgh, (Three Rivers, remember?) that's call The Point.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:46 AM on April 5, 2011

No, it's not an estuary. Those are bodies of water. We're looking for the name of a landform.

Actually, I'd go with "point," as a subset of peninsula. "Spur" suggests the presence of hills.
posted by valkyryn at 6:47 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Point State Park
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:48 AM on April 5, 2011

It can also be called an interfluve. Estuary is definitely not right.
posted by bardophile at 6:48 AM on April 5, 2011

Lyon (in France) is built around two rivers which converge in the south of the city, and the part between the two is known variously as the Confluence (the name given to the very tip) or the Presqu'ile (literally: peninsula). Confluence strictly/etymologically refers to the waters themselves, but has certainly extended its meaning to include the body of land, at least in French, and in Lyon.

The word peninsula, strictly speaking, is not restricted in meaning to a spit of land that's between two rivers, as it could be a spit of land in the sea. But I think what you are thinking about does fall into the set of things that are peninsulas.
posted by altolinguistic at 6:57 AM on April 5, 2011

When I've been out paddling with friends, we've generally used the word "point" (as in, "when you get to the confluence, land on the point"). But the word "point" is also used for peninsulas in larger bodies of water (lakes, oceans). "Interfluve" is the most specific word for this landform I've come across but I don't remember ever encountering it before reading bardophile's comment. So I think your choice of word would depend on the context.
posted by Orinda at 7:32 AM on April 5, 2011

Kate blank, it is the complete opposite of a delta. :)
posted by misterbrandt at 8:07 AM on April 5, 2011

Yeah, not a delta at all. A delta is what happens when a single river spreads out into multiple channels as it flows into another body of water. That body could be an ocean, sea, bay, or another river, but what characterizes it is the splitting up into multiple streams.

This is definitely a peninsula, probably a point.
posted by valkyryn at 8:12 AM on April 5, 2011

I think bardophile has it with interfluve.
posted by exogenous at 8:26 AM on April 5, 2011

Interfluve doesn't sound right, either; that's more the highland between rivers rather than the land at the confluence.
posted by The Michael The at 8:51 AM on April 5, 2011

Another word for this is Gore (despite the article, it doesn't just apply to roads).
posted by unSane at 9:06 AM on April 5, 2011

A promontory? I think the word is more often used to decribe a spit of land into a larger body of water, but it could work for a river.
posted by elendil71 at 10:45 AM on April 5, 2011

Promontory, is again, by definition, a highland.
posted by bardophile at 2:36 PM on April 5, 2011

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