Mississippi River

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Mississippi River
Ojibwe: Misi-ziibi[1], Dakota: Mníšošethąka[2], Myaamia: Mihsi-siipiiwi[3], Cheyenne: Ma'xeé'ometāā'e[4], Kiowa: Xósáu[5], Arapaho: Beesniicie[6], Pawnee: Kickaátit[7]
Efmo View from Fire Point.jpg
Mississippi River near Fire Point in Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa
Name origin: Ojibwe word misi-ziibi, meaning "Great River", or gichi-ziibi, meaning "Big River"
Nickname: "Old Man River," "Father of Waters"[8][9][10]
Country United States
States Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
Tributaries
 - left St. Croix River, Wisconsin River, Rock River, Illinois River, Kaskaskia River, Ohio River
 - right Minnesota River, Des Moines River, Missouri River, White River, Arkansas River
Cities Saint Cloud, MN, Minneapolis, MN, St. Paul, MN, La Crosse, WI, Quad Cities, IA/IL, St. Louis, MO, Memphis, TN, Baton Rouge, LA, New Orleans, LA
Source Lake Itasca[11]
 - location Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, MN
 - elevation 1,475 ft (450 m)
Mouth Gulf of Mexico
 - location Pilottown, Plaquemines Parish, LA
 - elevation ft (0 m)
Length 2,320 mi (3,734 km)
Basin 1,151,000 sq mi (2,981,076 km²)
Discharge for mouth; max and min at Baton Rouge, LA
 - average 593,000 cu ft/s (16,792 /s) [12]
 - max 3,065,000 cu ft/s (86,791 /s)
 - min 159,000 cu ft/s (4,502 /s)
Mississippi River basin
Mississippi River basin
Mississippi Headwaters The Mighty Mississippi River Starts Here at Lake Itasca in Minnesota (2859859533).jpg

The Mississippi River is a river in the United States. It is one of the longest rivers in the world. Its Largest City is Memphis, Tennessee. The name "Mississippi" comes from a Native American name that means "big river." The source of the Mississippi is Lake Itasca in Minnesota, near the border with Canada. The Mississippi flows south through the middle of the United States. It flows through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The mouth of the Mississippi is in the state of Louisiana, south of the city of New Orleans. The Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

At the end of the Mississippi there is a zone in the Gulf of Mexico where very few animals can survive comfortably because of the fertilizer and other chemicals that run off of farms into the river and its tributaries. The rivers then carry them into the gulf.[13]

Transportation[change | change source]

The Mississippi has been very important for transportation in the history of the United States. In the 1800s, many steamboats traveled on the Mississippi River. St. Louis, Missouri, Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans were important port cities.

Tributaries[change | change source]

The Mississippi has many large tributaries, or rivers that flow into it. The watershed of the Mississippi covers much of the United States. This means that the Mississippi and its tributaries drain much of the United States.

Some important tributaries of the Mississippi are (listed from the source to the mouth of the river):

River
the Minnesota River
the St. Croix River
the Wisconsin River
the Illinois River
the Missouri River
the Ohio River
the Arkansas River

The Mississippi River in books[change | change source]

A big part of the book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is set on the Mississippi River. Twain also wrote a book called Life on the Mississippi, which had some stories about how he used to work on a steamboat.

References[change | change source]

  1. decolonialatlas (January 12, 2015). "The Headwaters of the Mississippi River in Ojibwe". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  2. "AISRI Dictionary Database Search".
  3. "Myaamia Dictionary Search". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. "English – Cheyenne". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  5. "English – Kiowa". Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  6. "XML File of Arapaho Place Names".
  7. "Southband Pawnee Dictionary".
  8. James L. Shaffer and John T. Tigges. The Mississippi River: Father of Waters. Chicago, Ill.: Arcadia Pub., 2000.
  9. The Upper Mississippi River Basin: A Portrait of the Father of Waters As Seen by the Upper Mississippi River Comprehensive Basin Study. Chicago, Ill.: Army Corps of Engineers, North Central Division, 1972.
  10. Heilbron, Bertha L. "Father of Waters: Four Centuries of the Mississippi". American Heritage, vol. 2, no. 1 (Autumn 1950): 40-43.
  11. The United States Geological Survey recognizes two contrasting definitions of a river's source.USGS.gov By the stricter definition, the Mississippi would share its source with its longest tributary, the Missouri, at Brower's Spring in Montana. The other definition acknowledges "somewhat arbitrary decisions" and places the Mississippi's source at Lake Itasca, which is publicly accepted as the source,USGS.gov and which had been identified as such by Brower himself.MT.gov
  12. Kammerer, J.C. (May 1990). "Largest Rivers in the United States". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  13. Hypoxic zone-USGS