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River Mississippi

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RIVER MISSISSIPPI Hydrosphere 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. ...read more.


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 Channel straightening Straight channel is cut between two necks of a meander -shortens river. * 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. ...read more.


* Controls river * Speeds up river & gets excess river discharge away faster * Speeds up flow - discharges faster but can lead to flooding downstream Dredging To keep open shipping lane as Mississippi used extensively to transport goods across USA * Relatively cheap * Keeps shipping channel open * Why is the Mississippi controlled ? 1. To allow settlement along the flood plain - good sites for residential & industrial development along the river. 2. To keep open a critical artery of USA transport network 3. To keep down costs brought by flooding (loss of life, income, homes, transport etc...) Is the management worth the cost ? Some people argue that it isn't worth it and that nature will always win (note: channel straightening). Huge schemes have cost billions of dollars. ...read more.

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