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200 Miles of Mississippi River Could Shut Down

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posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:25 PM
reply to post by deadeyedick

You've made an assumption I was speaking about fixing the river. I suggested it's a sign we look for an alternative solution than shipping, irrigating, fishing that section of the river.

The Mississippi is the largest shipping route in the US is it not? I thought this is the number one concern with the water levels suffering so much. I remembered reading an article in the spring when it was starting to cause issues with shipping on the river. If It is not the Mississippi I'm thinking of I apologize, but my thoughts still stand. It's time to look for alternative means of shipping, transport, irrigation.

We as human beings rely on natural sources for everything, sometimes these sources change, or run out. Rivers are not immune, and in fact we have more of an impact than we are aware. Construction, farming, forestry, it all changes where and how the water goes where. It's only ever a matter of time, and maybe this is natures way of saying move along.

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:31 PM
reply to post by deadeyedick

You realize cargo ships are the worst polluters in the world right? They put out enormous emissions, displace and kill marine life, soil the waters and the air.

The issue switching to tractor trailers would be financial, and time related. It takes longer to send goods by truck, takes more trucks, and costs more money that it would to send it to a cargo ship to traverse the river.

I understand your points here, but the river is pretty polluted because of the shipping that takes place on it.

16 cargo ships equal to all the worlds cars

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:36 PM
reply to post by Hijinx

I understand but my main point is that not being able to use the river is not as important as why the river is becoming usable and how far will the effects of environmental changes will takes us.
edit on 10-12-2012 by deadeyedick because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 11:39 PM
According to the IL Farm Bureau publication we receive, the biggest concern is for the part of the river from St. Louis and Cairo, IL. Cairo is at the southern part of the state and if anyone recalls, ironically, was the subject of much debate concerning the blasting of the levee system to control flooding in 2011.
The big problem for barge traffic on this portion of the river system is the rock formations at the bottom of the river. The Corp of Engineers are planning to blast the rocks to clear the channel. The understanding I get is that they have to get contracts for the work and, of course, I'm sure that means red tape. IL politicians are trying to get a Presidential Disaster Declaration from Obama so that they can get more done quickly.
Apparently, it isn't as easy as just opening up the Missouri River to replenish the Mississippi. That would cause drinking water supply issues for Nebraska and Kansas.
Hopefully, something will get done soon to help the situation, but we are talking government here.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:19 AM
reply to post by deadeyedick

Okay, well it could be a number of reasons. Agriculture plays a huge part in depletion if they use the river as a source of water. 24hrs a day water is going out, and with the droughts there is not as much water going back into the river to replenish it. As well, construction can play a huge role. If you dig down a pour a foundation on land that was part of a subterranean stream or river it's now blocked. With the drought you wouldn't know, and it may seem like a small change for one construction plot but over time lots of these channels could be displaced. It all adds up, the cup fills one drop at a time.

Forestry can have a major role in water ways as well. If you remove a section of forest, the soil structure changes and along with it more water run off routes, mining, drilling they all play their parts. I wonder if any fracking has been taking place in this area. It's also possible underground chambers have opened and the subterranean waterways have diverted to fill them rather than the river.

There is lots of potential causes and we can all propose theories, thoughts as I have above.

The most likely I would think would have to do with the drought. The river covers an enormous area, and though even the tiniest sprinkle of rain may not look like much it adds up rather quickly when we think in terms of area. Water from all over several states ends up in that river, and the area has suffered pretty greatly this year. Less rain, means farmers have to pull more water from the rivers to keep their crops and live stock watered. Cities, Mines, commercial industry that require water could all be pulling more water than the river can replenish as well. As you, and I have both proposed the drought is the likely candidate here. Amazing how much of a change it makes, most of us can't see it until it get's to this point.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:28 AM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Thank you Arbitrageur and Deadeyedick for your kind answers.

On this:

But that one is pretty easy...most flooding is temporary and rivers drain. So when the flooding is over and there's no more new water supplying the river, it will empty what it can. I don't see why it would take too long...just throw a leaf into a river and watch how fast it moves...that gives you an idea of the current and how fast the water is moving (and therefore draining).

Yes, this does make a lot of sense. I'm a 'visual learner.' I can see the leaf.

I tried to find an article I'd read about "Solar Radiation Management" - by deflecting short wave radiation from the sun back into space, using tiny particles. First of all... yuck. This is our atmosphere they're talking about.

But mainly, there was something in the article that had to do with interfering with the natural flow of evaporation & rainfall... I think. Well, I couldn't find the exact one, but I did find this, which appears to be part of an online Meteorology course. (Link below quote) I can't find a date on it, but it sure sounds like what is happening to us now, even though the method is presented as 'theoretical' in the lesson...

But there are certainly potential pitfalls. We will look at these in more detail later in the lesson. For one, the pattern of cooling, just like for a large volcanic eruption, is not uniform. Resulting changes in atmospheric circulation cause heterogeneous temperature changes, with some regions cooling significantly, and other regions potentially warming. For example, parts of the Arctic might actually warm rather than cool, which would exacerbate Arctic sea ice loss and perhaps the rate of melting of the Greenland ice sheet. These same changes in atmospheric circulation lead to shifts in precipitation patterns, such that many continental regions are likely to dry, meaning adverse impacts on water supply .

The last sentence is what struck me, in terms of this thread.

Then I found this: Solar Radar Management Governance Initiative


Report summarizes opinions and issues surrounding SRM governance raised by global stakeholders

Global Stakeholders??? Don't we ALL have a stake in all of this?

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:40 AM

Originally posted by rickymouse
They could drain Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, that would be a temporary fix. They would keep the river up for a couple of years before going dry. I know there are some people thinking of this foolish concept, it's a good thing that we have safeguards to stop something like this from happening. The water in the Great Lakes is a reserve of drinking water in case it's needed, overusing it to water lawns and drain into the Ocean is crazy. In twenty years we will experience a severe water shortage everywhere in the USA. They can then filter it and package it in bottles to distribute as drinking water to everyone. That is if we don't keep poisoning the water.

The old plan was the GRAND canal project, and I think there was another too. In this one they planned to bring water from James Bay, down to the Great Lakes and further.

The Great Recycling and Northern Development (GRAND) Canal of North America or GCNA is a water management proposal designed by Newfoundland engineer Thomas Kierans to alleviate North American freshwater shortage problems. The GCNA, which relies upon water management technologies used in the Zuider Zee / IJsselmeer and California Aqueduct, has been promoted by Kierans since 1959.

This plan arose as water quality issues threatened the Great Lakes and other vital areas in Canada and the United States.[1] Kierans proposes that to avoid a water crisis from future droughts in Canada and the United States, in addition to water conservation, acceptable new fresh water sources must be found.

The premise of the GCNA is that fresh water run-off from natural precipitation will be collected in James Bay by means of a series of outflow-only, sea level dikes-constructed across the northern end of James Bay.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 06:51 AM
Sometimes the Old ways are the best ways. In the height of the Riverboat Era, the riverboats were wide and long, they drafted very little water and were able to navigate the then shallow waters in areas of the Mississippi River. Since then, the River became a well used waterway, taking commerce here and there. The Army Corp of Engineers got the idea to dredge the Mighty Mississippi in places and further allow deeper drafting boats and barges navigate safely with little risk of running aground. In a good year, it helped a great deal, but drops in the water level was still a factor in navigation. Were seeing the return to the necessity of shallow draft boat and barges, maybe even the re-emergence of railroad traffic skirting the Mississippi. The Great Lakes and the rivers sources are having a tough time with water level, even the damming of the river is affected. We might have to rethink our transportation industry some, a great deal is at stake here. The days of Huck Finn are long gone....

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:02 AM
reply to post by Hijinx

Hijinks you make a lot of good points.

I would add that the Mississippi draining into the Gulf with excess fertilizers has had a huge effect, from algee blooms to dead zones. And the highly disturbed Gulf is responsible for the current that goes up the East Coast, over and down the West Coast of Europe the Huge Atlantic current engine, which in turn drives every other ocean current. Sort of like the 'Butterfly effect'......

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:08 AM
reply to post by Plotus

They should have never got rid of trains. The cost of that blunder to American consumers was great. The people at the top decided it was good for the economy to promote the trucking industry and it also lined their pockets for a while with donations and probably some money under the table. They should have left the trains in place and required the companies to boost efficiency of the trains. Trains don't have to be everywhere, if they took half the burden off the semis it would be good. Hauling goods from a trainyard to the destination is better than hauling everything by road. In the case of the Mississippi river, it would have been cheaper to Americans to use trains since the tracks were already there. I think there is too much favor doing in this country at high levels. Common sense and rationality is tossed out the door sometimes.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 07:26 AM

Originally posted by unphased

Originally posted by deadeyedick

This is now at an unprecedented length of time that we have been experiencing drought. If we do not get the levels of rain up soon the river will be shut down until the rain comes.....

Umm, I hope you're not suggesting weather engineering. That would be a terrible idea.

Are you sure weather engineering is not already part of the problem? Maybe it could be part of the solution.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:17 AM
Isn't china draining the great lakes ? I remmember watching a documentary about what china does with U.S debt and 1 of the things that stuck out to me was they fill Huge tankers with water from the great lakes and ship it back to china

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:44 AM
I saw this on the news the other night. What I found real interesting about it, was that they were interviewing an older gentleman from the Army Core of Engineers and he said that while the drought this year was bad, history has shown that this will probably only be the first year, of several to come.

I wondered if that were true.
If so, we could be in serious trouble.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 11:06 AM
LINK rainfall patterns shifting

Blame it on whatever, the climate has always been in a constant state of flux, Colder, Hotter--Dryer, Wetter. Corn in Kansas may be a thing of the past before too long.

Climate change has wiped out many thriving civilizations in the past and will do so in the future. It is a natural thing and the only thing man can do is adapt or face the consequences. Throwing money on it will not fix it. 100 mpg vehicles will not fix it. Protesting against your neighbor will not fix it. Obama and his 'great wisdom' can't fix it. Whining won't fix it... Adapt or die.

The current situation may be temporary or maybe not.

Twenty years ago in the area where I live we never saw an Armadillo, now there are many.
Armadillos don't taste too bad... much better than a 'possum in my opinion.

posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 02:50 PM
As someone whose hobby gets better when the Mississippi river goes down I keep a daily watch on the river levels. I even have an app on my phone just for this.

The two places I monitor stay about 1 1/2 feet apart in depth. Over the past month the river has dropped just over a foot in both these places. The lowest I have seen one of them at was yesterday with the river level being just over 4 feet in depth, today though the river has risen again to just over 5 feet in that same area. I am not saying that the river levels are rising and staying there, however they can and do rise and fall nearly a foot in just one day.

At this point there are sand bars reaching nearly 2/3 to 3/4 the width of the river. There are rock exposures showing now that I have never seen. Not long ago the river was almost as low as it had been back in 1988; his is sort of strange considering that last year many roads were closed because of the flooding in the Mississippi. It is like a complete 180 in what the river looks like.

People like me enjoy the low water levels. I understand and realize they need to get higher though because the river is an important mode of transport. At the same time so many wonderful things can be found with the low water levels. It is really a double edged sword in a way.

I really do not want to see the river shut down. If that were to happen there would be a huge increase in fuel costs across the nation. Of course they still have the railroad that travels beside the river, but not everything can be moved this way.

Knowing the history of the Mississippi even a little though can tell you the river has changed a lot over its life time. It has moved, been narrow, wide, and gotten deeper, become shallow and even frozen over enough for people/animals to cross it in that way. If the river does close down it will just be more added history to the ever changing life of this life giving river.


posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 03:12 AM
reply to post by deadeyedick

Sounds almost like they are predicting lower levels. Anyone know exactly where they would be planning to shut it down? Nine feet, too, the video stated......seems deep enough for barges to me.....

Is there some other reason they might shut down that stretch?

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:06 PM
Or local news and paper are saying they are looking into removing rock through a 180 mile area are the river from St. Louis to Cairo.

I really hope they do not do this. I am not saying I want to river to shut down but I fear that there will be damage to finds that could be important to both science and history. In the article I link I have found a great deal of fossils from the plases they list blasting will start (Grand Tower through Thebes). There is a chance though that this will also bring up some stuff that would not be found otherwise. Regardless, I have mixed feelings about this idea.

For those not familiar with Grand Tower there is a formation in the river that we have been able to walk out to this year, the first time since 1988. The formation is called Tower Rock. There is a great deal of history in the rock all along the Mississippi in the form of fossils and other historical finds.

Another question I have in mind is will the blasting and removal of rock really help or will it just end up making it worse? I mean for now it will make the river deeper and allow traffic to continue. My question is will it not allow the water to flow faster making it get lower quicker and keeping it from getting back to a normal depth later on?


posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 08:03 PM
Here are a few shots of the Mississippi river frmo Thebes Illinois, one of the places they are wanting to blast.

I hope these are not rocks they plan on blasting.

These rocks are normally under water.

The bridge you see in the back ground is the train bridge spanning the river. I have seen trains cross it that were long enough to reach both sides of the river and have plenty of train on each side.

This is a cephalopod that is well enough in a rock that I am not able to get it out due to lack of equipment and time.

The following are either other cephalopods or fossilized burrows.

This is the sort of stuff I worry about them destroying. I have found a number of fossils in this area. From receptaculites to bits of petrified wood that has washed down the river. The Thebes area is covered with a great deal of receptaculites, also called sunflower coral (though it was likely a red algae).


posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 11:11 PM

Originally posted by deadeyedick

200 Miles of Mississippi River Could Shut Down


Business and politicians are very concerned about the falling water levels on the Mississippi River and the impact it could have on surrounding states. HLN reports the river could get too low for barges to get through as early as next year. USA Today reports the portion of the river that could get shut down spans 200 miles. The Christian Science Monitor says the first official estimate of drought damages from the U.S. Department of Agriculture range from $60 billion to $100 billion
(visit the link for the full news article)
Mississippi River Closed Due to Drought

so this could have been avoided?

Sorry, my mind went there again; outer-space.

leave the levees alone!
edit on (12/15/1212 by loveguy because: new link

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 12:17 AM
reply to post by Raist

Those are awesome pictures! I used to live in a Mississippi river town. I spent many a day sitting by the river watching it roll by. I hope those aren't the rocks they are talking about either.

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