Hydrosphere of the Mississippi River

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Hydrosphere of the Mississippi River

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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 andthe Appalachian Mountains to the north. There are many hundreds oftributaries including the Red River, Missouri river and the riverOhio. The mountains form the river’s watershed.

From Minneapolis the river flows South-East into Iowa where it flowssouth as far as Davenport. At Davenport it is joined by more smalltributaries. From Davenport it meanders South to St. Louis, where itis joined by the Missouri. It then flows South-East, to be joined bythe 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 itsplits 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 buildingsalong the valley on the flood plain behind.

· Known & successful technology which follows nature (rivers depositsilt 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 -shortensriver.

· Shortens river – cuts transport costs

· Controls the flow of the river more closely

· Evidence now suggests that river Mississippi too powerful – re-cutback 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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