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The immediate and noticeable addition to land caused by its removal from the property of another, by a sudden change in a water bed or in the course of a stream.
When a stream that is a boundary suddenly abandons its bed and seeks a new bed, the boundary line does not change. It remains in the center of the original bed even if water no longer flows through it. This is known as the rule of avulsion.
Avulsion is not the same as accretion or alluvion, the gradual and imperceptible buildup of land by the continuous activity of the sea, a river, or by other natural causes.
n. the change in the border of two properties due to a sudden change in the natural course of a stream or river, when the border is defined by the channel of the waterway. The most famous American case is the Mississippi River's change which put Vicksburg on the other side of the river.
AVULSION. Where, by the immediate and manifest power of a river or stream, the soil is taken suddenly from one man's estate and carried to another. In such case the property belongs to the first owner. An acquiescence on his part, however, will in time entitle the owner of the land to which it is attached to claim it as his own. Bract. 221; Harg. Tracts, De jure maris, &c. Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. tom. 3, p. 106; 2. Bl. Com. 262; Schultes on Aq. Rights, 115 to 138. Avulsion differs from alluvion (q.v.) in this, that in the latter case the change of the soil is gradual and imperceptible.