Hydrosphere of the Mississippi River

407 Words2 Pages
Hydrosphere of the Mississippi River

A Case Study of

* River management

* People interfering in the hydrosphere

* A flood management scheme

River Basin / Catchment area

The source of the river is the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains and

the Appalachian Mountains to the north. There are many hundreds of

tributaries including the Red River, Missouri river and the river

Ohio. The mountains form the river's watershed.

From Minneapolis the river flows South-East into Iowa where it flows

south as far as Davenport. At Davenport it is joined by more small

tributaries. From Davenport it meanders South to St. Louis, where it

is joined by the Missouri. It then flows South-East, to be joined by

the Ohio. It then flows 400 km before being met by the Arkansas river.

It then flows South through Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico, where it

splits into the many distributaries of its delta.

How is the Mississippi controlled ?

How & why used ?




Mounds of earth are built parallel to the river, along its banks.

These contain the rising river in flood times and protect buildings

along the valley on the flood plain behind.

· Known & successful technology which follows nature (rivers deposit

silt to build natural levees anyway)

· Protect settlements

· Allow land close to the river to be used for economic gain

· Concrete levees are a barrier to the river draining away naturally

· Expensive to build & repair

· Restrict access to the river



Straight channel is cut between two necks of a meander -shortens


· Shortens river - cuts transport costs

· Controls the flow of the river more closely

· Evidence now suggests that river Mississippi too powerful - re-cut

back to original meander course breaking away from artificial channel.

Wing Dikes

Structures built out into river to force faster current to midstream.

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