Materials of this catego~ya re deposited by running water in the form offroodplains, river terraces, deltas and alluvial fans. These deposits have two outstanding characteristics by, which they can usually be recognised with ease. Fit, the individual particles tend to be rounded and smootlfed by the action of running water. Second, the layers are usually distinct in that each contain particles of a particular range or size class depending upon the speed of the transporting water. Coarse materials are laid by swift water currents, whereas, fine particles are deposited by relatively calm waters.
Alluvial soils are found bo~deringri vers and slow moving bodies of water. When first formed; these deposits are sa low that they are frequently flooded at high-water stages, and at such times they receive additional increments of fine sediment, especially if they are well vegetated. At this stage of development, they are called flood plains. As the stream cuts its channel deeper, the flood plain is left above the reach of high water and is called a terrace. Large streams are frequently bordered by a series of terraces, the oldest being at considerable heights above the present water level.Where streams enter a lake or a sea, the deposit of silt and clay that settles down at the edge of the still water may build a delta which gradually lengthens until it extends beyond the mouth of the stream. The Sunderbans in West Bengal and Bangladesh are examples of deltas, which supprt mangrove type of vegetation. Alluvial fans are formed where a stream descends from uplands, and a sudden change in gradient may sometimes occur as the stream emerges at the lower level. Deposition of sediments is thereby forced, giving rise to alluvial fans. They differ from a delta in their location and in the character of their debris. Fan material is often gravel and stony in natureand is well drained.
Among the transported soils, the alluvial soils of the Indoagetic Plains are highly productive and have been under'cultivation for several thousands of years. The parent material of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial soils is actually in the Himalayas. Mountain and hill washes contribute huge quaiitities of sediments brought down by the rivers and deposited in the plains below. Most of the alluvial soils are under intensive crop cultivation.