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Definition of Aluvión

Alluvium is the name given to the sediments or detritus carried by a water current, which are deposited on a terrain. The water drags the loose material down a slope, ravine or riverbed, thus increasing in size as it moves down the slope carrying leaves, tree branches, rocks and various elements, reaching a destructive speed.

It is often said that “the river has covered a large area of land with terraces and alluvium”.

It is therefore this sudden and violent influx of a river or stream due to its overflow. It is possible that it travels many kilometers from its origin, in highly perceptible gradual procession that in is causing a slow dragging of the current of the same one.


  1. Deluge, downpour, shower.
  2. Avalanche.
  3. Avalanche, pile, flood.


This word, comes from the Latin “alluvĭo” and from the old “lēre” which means to erase, also from alluvionis, which formerly meant, flood or overflow of waters, although it also meant flooded land. It is formed with the prefix ad- plus the root that comes from the verb lavare (to wash, to bathe).

These lands are precisely called alluvial or alluvium. In a figurative sense it is used with the value of great mass or quantity as for example: “un aluvión de aplausos” (an alluvium of applause).


The sudden rise in the level and flow of a watercourse can increase the turbidity of the water in the channels. The sudden decrease in level and flow occurs without an apparent or known cause, producing a loud noise like many truck engines approaching.

If you feel that a flood is approaching, you should seek shelter in the nearest shelter, such as a clump of trees or the sturdiest building nearby. If you are driving and suddenly find yourself in a flooded area, you should move away from it if possible and stay away from ravines or steep slopes.

The most recent flood was in the central-western neighborhoods of Quito in Ecuador, on February 2, 2022: 24 people died, 52 were injured, 12 were missing and 38 houses were destroyed, according to sources from the National Risk and Emergency Management Service of that country.