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Could the Mississippi River change course?

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posted on May, 12 2011 @ 01:03 AM
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I was reading about all these spillways and stuff in Louisiana and I came across something called the Old River Control Structure up north of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.




The Old River Control Structure is a floodgate system located along the west bank of the Mississippi River at river mile 315[1] in northern Louisiana, at the divergence of the Atchafalaya River. Completed in 1963, the complex was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to regulate water flow from the Mississippi into the Atchafalaya because of the increasing quantities of water that would otherwise flow into the Atchafalaya, due to that river's shorter and increasingly steeper course to the Gulf of Mexico. Generally, the water distribution between the two rivers is now maintained at 70% to the Mississippi, and 30% to the Atchafalaya.[2][3]


Basically the Mississippi River wants to be overtaken by the Atchafalaya river, but humans put up these little dams to keep it on its longer course to the Gulf of Mexico (going through Baton Rouge and New Orleans). If it did change course, the river would hit the gulf far west of New Orleans and the old river would just be a trickle comparatively.

I found this article that explains it pretty well. It seems to be written before any of this happened, but one thing that stood out in the article was this.




What condition might potentially lead to this scenario? Experts predict that the ORCS (old river control system) might fail if the snowfall between Saskatchewan and New York exceeds that of the winter of 1972-73.


Just thought I'd post this since I was bored. Here is the full article.

www.americaswetlandresources.com...



edit on 12-5-2011 by mayabong because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-5-2011 by mayabong because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-5-2011 by mayabong because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 12 2011 @ 01:39 AM
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Yes it could in the perfect situation.

It has historically in the nations past.

There are many "oxbow" lakes near the river.

These are are where the river meandered to then silt closed up the entrances and the river pursued a new course leaving the lakes as a reminder .

www.britannica.com...

This lake was caused by the river changing course.

Lake Chicot

This aerial view shows you the oxbow lakes and how close they are to the river.
www.panoramio.com...


edit on 12-5-2011 by IamJustanAmerican because: (no reason given)



 
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