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Missisipi River


Biggest River on Earth ::--|| 1.Nile River|| 2.Amazon River|| 3.Yangtze River|| 4.Missisipi River|| 5.Yenisei River|| 6.Yellow River|| 7.Ob River|| 8.Parana River|| 9.Congo River|| 10.Amur River|| 11.Lena River|| 12.Mekong River|| 13.Mackenzie River|| 14.Niger River|| 15.Murray/Darling River|| 16.Tocantins River|| 17.Volga River|| 18.Purus River|| 19.Madeira River|| 20.Sao Francisco River||List of River's.||


Mississippi River
The Mississippi in flood between Missouri and Illinois
Name origin: Ojibwe word misi-ziibi, meaning "Great River", or gichi-ziibi, meaning "Big River"
Country  United States
States Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois,Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee,Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
Tributaries
 - left St. Croix River, Wisconsin River,Rock River, Illinois River,Kaskaskia River, Ohio River
 - right Minnesota River, Des Moines River,Missouri River, White River,Arkansas River, Red River
Cities Minneapolis, MN, St. Paul, MN,Quad Cities,IA/IL, St. Louis, MO,Memphis, TN, Baton Rouge, LA,New Orleans, LA
Source Lake Itasca
 - location Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, MN
 - elevation 1,475 ft (450 m)
 - coordinates 47°14′23″N 95°12′27″W
Mouth Gulf of Mexico
 - location Pilottown, Plaquemines Parish, LA
 - elevation 0 ft (0 m)
 - coordinates 29°09′04″N 89°15′12″W
Length 2,320 mi (3,734 km)
Basin 1,151,000 sq mi (2,981,076 km2)
Discharge for mouth; max and min at Baton Rouge, LA
 - average 593,000 cu ft/s (16,792 m3/s)
 - max 3,065,000 cu ft/s (86,791 m3/s)
 - min 159,000 cu ft/s (4,502 m3/s)
missisipi river map
Map of the course, watershed, and major tributaries of the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 U.S. states between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains and even reaches into southern Canada. The Mississippi ranks fourth longest and tenth largest among the world's rivers.



Native Americans lived along the Mississippi and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers or herders, but some such as the Mound builders formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 1500s forever changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers. The river served first as barrier – forming borders for New Spain, New France, and the early United States – then as vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of Manifest Destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for pioneers partaking in the western expansion of the United States.
Formed from thick layers of this river's silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country and as a result came the rise of the river's storied steamboat era. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory because of this very importance as a route of trade and travel, not least to the Confederacy. Because of substantial growth of cities, and the larger ships and barges that have supplanted riverboats, the decades following the 1900s saw massive engineering works applied to the river system, such as the often in-combination construction of levees, locks and dams.
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 prove disastrous to seaports such as New Orleans. A system of dikes and gates has so far held the Mississippi at bay, but due to fluvial processes the shift becomes more likely each year.



Mississippi River course

The Mississippi River is divided into the Upper Mississippi, the Middle Mississippi, and the Lower Mississippi, with the Upper Mississippi upriver of its confluence with the Missouri River, the Middle Mississippi from there downriver to the Ohio River, and the Lower Mississippi from there downriver to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi River is known as the Upper Mississippi from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri. The Upper Mississippi is divided into two sections:

  1. The headwaters, 493 miles (793 km), from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  2. A navigable channel, formed by a series of man-made lakes between Minneapolis and St. Louis, Missouri, 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 Parkin Clearwater County, Minnesota. The name "Itasca" is a 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). However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams, of which one might be selected as the river's ultimate source.

Watershed

The Mississippi River has the world's fourth largest drainage basin ("watershed" or "catchment"). The basin covers more than 1,245,000 sq mi (3,220,000 km2), including all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The drainage basin empties into the Gulf of Mexico, part of the Atlantic Ocean. The total catchment of the Mississippi River covers nearly 40% of the landmass of the continental United States.

In the United States, the Mississippi River drains the majority of the area between crest of the Rocky Mountains and the crest of the Appalachian Mountains, except for various regions drained to Hudson Bay by the Red River of the North; to the Atlantic Ocean by the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River; and to the Gulf of Mexico by the Rio Grande, the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, the Chattahoochee and Appalachicola rivers, and various smaller coastal waterways along the Gulf.
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 2,340 miles (3,770 km). The retention time from Lake Itasca to the Gulf is typically about 90 days.

 

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