Aits are typically formed by the deposit of sediment in the water, which accumulates. An ait is characteristically long and narrow, and may become a permanent island should it become secured and protected by growing vegetation. However, aits may also be eroded: the resulting sediment is deposited further downstream and could result in another ait. A channel with numerous aits is called a braided channel.
The word derives from Old English iggath (or igeth); the root of the word, ieg, meaning island, with a diminutive suffix.
References in literature
Joyce Cary used "eyot" in The Horse's Mouth – "Sun was in the bank. Streak of salmon below. Salmon trout above soaking into wash blue. River whirling along so fast that its skin was pulled into wrinkles like silk dragged over the floor. Shot silk. Fresh breeze off the eyot. Sharp as spring frost. Ruffling under the silk-like muscles in a nervous horse. Ruffling under my grief like ice and hot daggers".
- Islands in the River Thames – wikimedia list article
- Shoal – natural submerged sandbank that rises from a body of water to near the surface
- "Eyot". World Wide Words. 21 June 2003. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
- "Definition of eyot". www.dictionary.com. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
- Misachi, John (5 April 2019). "What is an Ait? Ait Defintion [sic]". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
- "Queen's Eyot : History of the island". Unique and Exclusive Venue for Weddings and Corporate Events. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
- "Google Ngram Viewer". Google Books. Retrieved 30 April 2020. (Google Ngram Viewer)