This is, of course, absolutely right. And one often notes that when early
surveys identify a tract as being at or near the head of a creek, the creek
is no longer quite so long as it once was! But the contours still usually
expose or at least suggest the old course.
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Not only have I seen a change, albeit not major in the streambeds, I
actually seen small creeks disappear. There original path is can still be
determined by the land formation--what was a creek bed is now just a gully,
but civilization has removed enough trees, etc. to dry up the stream.
This is Piedmont Virginia, I've also seen this in southeast West Virginia,
but not as much.