The images from nasa 's modis (to the right) show a large plume of fresh water, which appears as a dark ribbon against the lighter-blue surrounding waters. These images demonstrate that the plume did not mix with the surrounding sea water immediately. Instead, it stayed intact as it flowed through the gulf of Mexico, into the Straits of Florida, and entered the gulf Stream. The mississippi river water rounded the tip of Florida and traveled up the southeast coast to the latitude of georgia before finally mixing in so thoroughly with the ocean that it could no longer be detected by modis. Before 1900, the mississippi river transported an estimated 400 million metric tons of sediment per year from the interior of the United States to coastal louisiana and the gulf of Mexico. During the last two decades, this number was only 145 million metric tons per year. The reduction in sediment transported down the mississippi river is the result of engineering modification of the mississippi, missouri, and Ohio rivers and their tributaries by dams, meander cutoffs, river-training structures, and bank revetments and soil erosion control programs in the areas drained by them.
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The total catchment of the mississippi river covers nearly 40 of the landmass of the continental United States. The highest point within billiard the watershed is also the highest point of the rocky mountains, mount Elbert at 14,440 feet (4,400 m). 32 Sequence of nasa modis images showing the outflow of fresh water from the mississippi (arrows) into the gulf best of Mexico (2004) In the United States, the mississippi river drains the majority of the area between the crest of the rocky mountains and the crest. The mississippi river empties into the gulf of Mexico about 100 miles (160 km) downstream from New Orleans. Measurements of the length of the mississippi from lake itasca to the gulf of Mexico vary somewhat, but the United States geological Survey 's number is 2,320 miles (3,730 km). The retention time from lake itasca to the gulf is typically about 90 days. 33 Outflow edit The mississippi river discharges at an annual average rate of between 200 and 700 thousand cubic feet per second (7,00020,000 m3/s). 34 Although it is the fifth-largest river in the world by volume, this flow is a small fraction of the output of the Amazon, which moves nearly 7 million cubic feet per second (200,000 m3/s) during wet seasons. On average, the mississippi has only 8 the flow of the Amazon river. 35 Fresh river water flowing from the mississippi into the gulf of Mexico does not mix into the salt water immediately.
The widest point of the mississippi river is in the lower Mississippi portion where it exceeds 1 mile (1.6 km) in width in several places. Deliberate water diversion at the Old river Control Structure in louisiana allows the Atchafalaya river in louisiana to be the a major distributary of the mississippi river, with 30 of the mississippi flowing to the gulf of Mexico by this route, rather than continuing down the. Although the red river is commonly thought to be a tributary, it is actually not, because its water flows separately into the gulf of Mexico through the Atchafalaya river. Watershed edit map of the mississippi river watershed An animation of the flows along the rivers of the mississippi watershed see also: List of drainage basins by area the mississippi river has the world's fourth-largest drainage basin watershed" or "catchment. The basin covers more than 1,245,000 square miles (3,220,000 km2 including all or parts of 31. States and two canadian provinces. The drainage basin empties into the gulf of Mexico, part of the Atlantic Ocean.
24 25 The middle mississippi is relatively free-flowing. Louis to the Ohio river confluence, the middle mississippi falls 220 feet (67 m) over 180 miles (290 km) for an average rate.2 salon feet per mile (23 cm/km). At its confluence with the Ohio river, the middle mississippi is 315 feet (96 m) above sea level. Apart from the missouri and Meramec rivers of Missouri and the kaskaskia river of Illinois, no major tributaries enter the middle mississippi river. Lower Mississippi edit lower Mississippi river near New Orleans The mississippi river is called the lower Mississippi river from its confluence with the Ohio river to its mouth at the gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 1,000 miles (1,600 km). At the confluence of the Ohio and the middle mississippi, the long-term mean discharge of the Ohio at cairo, illinois is 281,500 cubic feet per second (7,970 cubic metres per second 26 while the long-term mean discharge of the mississippi at Thebes, Illinois (just upriver. 27 Thus, by volume, the main branch of the mississippi river system at cairo can be considered to be the Ohio river (and the Allegheny river further upstream rather than the middle mississippi. In addition to the Ohio river, the major tributaries of the lower Mississippi river are the White river, flowing in at the White river National Wildlife refuge in east central Arkansas; the Arkansas river, joining the mississippi at Arkansas Post ; the big Black river.
The Upper Mississippi is largely a multi-thread stream with many bars and islands. From its confluence with the. Croix river downstream to dubuque, iowa, the river is entrenched, with high bedrock bluffs lying on either side. The height of these bluffs decreases to the south of Dubuque, though they are still significant through savanna, illinois. This topography contrasts strongly with the lower Mississippi, which is a meandering river in a broad, flat area, only rarely flowing alongside a bluff (as at Vicksburg, mississippi ). The confluence of the mississippi (left) and Ohio (right) rivers at cairo, illinois, the demarcation between the middle and the lower Mississippi river Middle mississippi edit The mississippi river is known as the middle mississippi from the Upper Mississippi river's confluence with the missouri river. Louis, missouri, for 190 miles (310 km) to its confluence with the Ohio river at cairo, illinois.
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Anthony falls Lock and Dam in 1963, the river's head of navigation moved upstream, to the coon Rapids Dam. However, the locks were closed in 2015 to control the spread of invasive asian carp, making Minneapolis once again the site of the head of navigation of the river. 21 The Upper Mississippi has a number of natural and artificial lakes, with its widest point being lake winnibigoshish, near Grand Rapids, minnesota, over 11 miles and (18 km) across. Lake onalaska, created by lock and Dam. 7, near la crosse, wisconsin, is more than 4 miles (6.4 km) wide. Lake pepin, a natural lake formed behind the delta of the Chippewa river of Wisconsin as it enters the Upper Mississippi, is more than 2 miles (3.2 km) wide. 22 by the time the Upper Mississippi reaches saint paul, minnesota, below Lock and Dam.
1, it has dropped more than half its original elevation and is 687 feet (209 m) above sea level. Louis, missouri, the river elevation falls much more slowly, and is controlled and managed as a series of pools created by 26 locks and dams. 23 The Upper Mississippi river is joined by the minnesota river at Fort Snelling in the Twin Cities ; the. Croix river near Prescott, wisconsin ; the cannon river near Red Wing, minnesota ; the zumbro river at Wabasha, minnesota ; the Black, la crosse, and root rivers in la crosse, wisconsin ; the wisconsin river at Prairie du Chien, wisconsin ; the rock river. Other major tributaries of the Upper Mississippi include the Crow river in Minnesota, the Chippewa river in Wisconsin, the maquoketa river and the wapsipinicon river in Iowa, and the Illinois river in Illinois.
Beginning just below saint paul, minnesota, and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks. The head of navigation on the mississippi is the coon Rapids Dam in coon Rapids, minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could occasionally go upstream as far as saint Cloud, minnesota, depending on river conditions. The uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi river is the Upper. Anthony falls Lock and Dam in Minneapolis.
Above the dam, the river's elevation is 799 feet (244 m). Below the dam, the river's elevation is 750 feet (230 m). This 49-foot (15 m) drop is the largest of all the mississippi river locks and dams. The origin of the dramatic drop is a waterfall preserved adjacent to the lock under an apron of concrete. Saint Anthony falls is the only true waterfall on the entire mississippi river. The water elevation continues to drop steeply as it passes through the gorge carved by the waterfall. After the completion of the.
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Louis, missouri, some 664 miles (1,069 km). The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as lake itasca, 1,475 feet (450 m) above sea level in Itasca State park in Clearwater county, minnesota. The name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the mississippi river as a write combination of the last four letters of the latin word for truth ( veritas ) and the first two letters of the latin word for head ( caput ). 20 However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at lake itasca. Louis, missouri, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation. The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams significantly shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river.
19 The fcc also uses it as the dividing line for broadcast callsigns, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing thesis together in media markets along the river. Physical geography edit The geographical setting of the mississippi river includes considerations of the course of the river itself, its watershed, its outflow, its prehistoric and historic course changes, and possibilities of future course changes. The new Madrid seismic Zone along the river is also noteworthy. These various basic geographical aspects of the river in turn underlie its human history and present uses of the waterway and its adjacent lands. Divisions edit The mississippi river can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the missouri river; the middle mississippi, which is downriver from the missouri to the Ohio river; and the lower Mississippi, which flows. Upper Mississippi edit The beginning of the mississippi river at lake itasca (2004) Mississippi head of navigation,. Anthony falls The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the missouri river. It is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles (793 km) from the source to saint Anthony falls in Minneapolis, minnesota ; and A navigable channel, formed by a series of man-made lakes between Minneapolis and.
and the larger ships and barges that supplanted riverboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees, locks and dams, often built in combination. Since modern development of the basin began, the mississippi has also seen its share of pollution and environmental problems most notably large volumes of agricultural runoff, which has led to the gulf of Mexico dead zone off the delta. In recent years, the river has shown a steady shift towards the Atchafalaya river channel in the delta; a course change would be an economic disaster for the port city of New Orleans. Contents Name and significance edit The word Mississippi itself comes from Messipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, misi-ziibi (Great river). In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, and since the country's expansion westward, the mississippi river has been widely considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the eastern, southern, and Midwestern United States, and the. This is exemplified by the gateway arch. Louis and the phrase " Trans-Mississippi " as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. It is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the mississippi " 18 or "the oldest city west of the mississippi".
The mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river in the world by discharge. The river either borders or passes through the states. Minnesota, wisconsin, iowa, illinois, missouri, kentucky, tennessee, arkansas, mississippi, and louisiana. 15 16 Native americans long lived along the mississippi river and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers, but reviews some, such as the mound builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. 17 The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, new France, and the early United States, and then as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country, which resulted in the river's storied steamboat era.
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For a different river in Canada, see. For other uses of "Mississippi see. The, mississippi river is the chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the north American continent, second shredder only to the. Hudson bay drainage system. 13 14, the stream is entirely within the United States (although its drainage basin reaches into canada its source is lake itasca in northern. Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) 14 to the, mississippi river Delta in the, gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the mississippi's watershed drains all or parts. States and two, canadian provinces between the, rocky and, appalachian mountains.