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USGS CMG InfoBank: Stream Capture

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Comment: 15:11 - 16:11 (01:00)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 20. Running Water II: Landscape Evolution
Keywords: "Nancy Powell", "U.S. Army Corps of Engineers", "Atchafalaya River", "Mississippi River", "stream capture", river, Fiske, delta, sediment

Our transcription: The Corps of Engineers realized that there was a potential problem with Atchafalaya capturing the Mississippi back in the 1950's.
A gentlemen by the name of Fiske, who was a geologist, did a report for the Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi River Commission, in which he studied old delta systems of the Mississippi and old diversions of the Mississippi, and compared those to what was happening on the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi.
He theorized that the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi were in an intermediate stage of capture.
And that if something was not done by about the 1970s, about 1975, we would reach a critical stage of capture in which the Mississippi would no longer be able to carry any more flow because of this build up of sediment, and the flows would go down the Atchafalaya.
He said that this would happen when about 40 percent of the flow was going down the Atchafalaya from the Mississippi.

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