Braided channels are the third of a simple three part classification by early geomorphologists, as reported by Leopold, Wolman and Miller (1957) and Schumm (1977).
These images show the oblique view and cross sectional view of a braiding channel with multiple parallel channels. The oblique view showing vegetated central bars suggests that this Stream class describes channels with islands, however islands can also appear in Meandering channels. Further, some braided channels have unvegetated, and highly mobile central bars. These systems can form due to excessive upstream head-cuts or bank failure which generate sediment pulses (degradation) and then a downstream flattening of slope, loss of hydraulic energy, and localized sediment Aggradation. Braiding channels are considered relatively unstable with noncohesive bank material and predominantly bedload sediment.
Image courtesy of Rosgen