Depending on the slope of the land, underlying rock structure as well as the climatic conditions of the area, the streams within a drainage basin form certain patterns. These are dendritic, trellis, rectangular, and radial patterns.
- Dendritic pattern: This pattern develops where the river channel follows the slope of the terrain. The stream with its tributaries resembles the branches of a tree, thus the name dendritic.
- Trellis pattern: A river joined by its tributaries, at approximately right angles, develops a trellis pattern. A trellis drainage pattern develops where hard and soft rocks exist parallel to each other.
- Rectangular pattern: A rectangular drainage pattern develops on a strongly jointed rocky terrain.
- Radial pattern: It develops when streams flow in different directions from a central peak or dome-like structure.