Coastal & Marine Geology InfoBank

Home FACS Activities Atlas Geology School Related Sites More

USGS CMG InfoBank: Mississippi River

Skip navigational links
Loading
Dictionaries: Our Mapping Systems   The USGS and Science Education   USGS Fact Sheets   Topics   Keywords   Data Dictionary   Metadata Dictionary   Computer Terminology   Digital Formats  
InfoBank Terms: Activity ID   activity overview   crew   digital data   formal metadata   lines   metadata   NGDC   port stops   project/theme   region   ship   stations   time   virtual globe   year  
Data Types: bathymetry   biological   geochemical   gravity   ground penetrating radar   imaging   LIDAR   logs   magnetics   metering equipment   navigation   samples   seismic   total station   definitions disclaimer  
Data Formats: ARC coverage   E00   FGDC metadata   gridded/image   imaging   material   scattered/swath   Shapefile   vector/polygon  
Comment: 11:45 - 13:01 (01:16)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 20. Running Water II: Landscape Evolution
Keywords: "Mississippi River", river, "river channel", sea, sediment, discharge, bank, flood, "Gulf of Mexico", levee, commerce, "stream course"

Our transcription: The Mississippi could not have created this much land if it had stayed in one channel.
The southern part of the River has changed course many times over an area some 300 kilometers wide.
The key to these changes is the River's natural tendency to follow the "path of least resistance," which is almost always the shortest route to the sea.
The Mississippi follows a single channel until gradually its channel fills with sediment.
At that point, the River easily overtops its banks during periods of high discharge.
When that happens, it is free to find a more direct route to the Gulf, until of course, the lengthy cycle begins again.
This cyclical shifting of the Mississippi has resulted in an ongoing battle to control the forces of nature.
Along most of its lower course, levees have been built to confine the River to its present channel.
Cities and ports have grown along the Mississippi, and it has gradually become one of the world's most important economic waterways.

Geology School Keywords
Skip footer navigational links

Coastal and Marine Science Centers:  Pacific   St. Petersburg   Woods Hole  
InfoBank   Coastal and Marine Geology Program   Geologic Information   Ask-A-Geologist   USGS Disclaimer  


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/infobank/programs/html/school/moviepage/18.02.13.html
Page Contact Information: InfoBank staff
Page Last Modified: Thu Oct 31 04:28:08 PDT 2013  (chd)