1. The same thing happens to this day, though on a smaller scale, wherever a sediment-laden river or stream emerges from a mountain valley onto relatively flat land, dropping its load as the current slows: the water usually spreads out fanwise, depositing the sediment in the form of a smooth, fan-shaped slope.
2. In lowland country almost any spot on the ground may overlie what was once the bed of a river that has since become buried by soil; if they are now below the water’s upper surface (the water table), the gravels and sands of the former riverbed, and its sandbars, will be saturated with groundwater.
3. But note that porosity is not the same as permeability, which measures the ease with which water can flow through a material; this depends on the sizes of the individual cavities and the crevices linking them.
4. If the pores are large, the water in them will exist as drops too heavy for surface tension to hold, and it will drain away; but if the pores are small enough, the water in them will exist as thin films, too light to overcome the force of surface tension holding them in place; then the water will be firmly held.
5. But the myths that have grown up around the rites may continue as part of the group’s oral tradition and may even come to be acted out under conditions divorced from these rites.
6. Another, advanced in the twentieth century, suggests that humans have a gift for fantasy, through which they seek to reshape reality into more satisfying forms than those encountered in daily life.
7. For example, one sign of this condition is the appearance of the comic vision, since comedy requires sufficient detachment to view some deviations from social norms as ridiculous rather than as serious threats to the welfare of the entire group.
8. Timberline trees are normally evergreens, suggesting that these have some advantage over deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves) in the extreme environments of the upper timberline.
9. This is particularly true for trees in the middle and upper latitudes, which tend to attain greater heights on ridges, whereas in the tropics the trees reach their greater heights in the valleys.
10. As the snow is deeper and lasts longer in the valleys, trees tend to attain greater heights on the ridges, even though they are more exposed to high-velocity winds and poor, thin soils there.