Streams usually carry mud and sand along with them; this is particularly well seen after a storm when rivers and brooks are muddy. The puddles which collect at the foot of a hill after a storm are muddy because of the particles of soil gathered by the water as it runs down the hill. The particles are not dissolved in the water, but are held there in suspension, as we call it technically. The river made muddy after a storm by suspended particles usually becomes clear and transparent after it has traveled onward for miles, because, as it travels, the particles drop to the bottom and are deposited there. Hence, materials suspended in the water are borne along and deposited at various places. The amount of deposition by large rivers is so great that in some places channels fill up and must be dredged annually, and vessels are sometimes caught in the deposit and have to be towed away.
Running water in the form of streams and rivers, by carrying sand particles, stones, and rocks from high slopes and depositing them at lower levels, wears away land at one place and builds it up at another, and never ceases in its work of changing the nature of the earth's surface.
FIG. - Deposit left by running water.
FIG. - Water by its action constantly changes the character of the land.