|Stage||Main activity||Main features|
|Upper course (steep gradient)||Vertical (downward) erosion||Source, tributaries, V-shaped valley, interlocking spurs, waterfalls, rapids, gorges|
|Middle course (gentle gradient)||Lateral (sideways) erosion starts, transportation||River beaches (slip-off slopes), meanders, river cliffs|
|Lower course (very low gradient)||Deposition||Floodplains, levées, delta,|
In the upper course river features include steep-sided V-shaped valleys, interlocking spurs, rapids, waterfalls and gorges.