Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Whole Lot of Water

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How much water does the Mississippi carry past St. Louis each day? I'm sure someone has calculated this but I couldn't even guess. Of course, it varies with the stage of the river and now, near flood level, the amount must be very great. That's the Martin Luther King Bridge on the left and the Eads Bridge on the right. And that is a buoy on the lower left, not some kind of fish jumping up.


One of the environmental controversies in this area is about the channelization of the great rivers. The Missouri and Mississippi are lined by high levees along much of their routes. These are meant to protect the towns and farms flanking them but, by holding the rivers back from their natural flood plains, make the inundation much worse when a levee ruptures or in places without this system. One of my occasional readers, river.relief, is an expert in this stuff. Maybe he can tell us more.

TOMORROW: a very tenuous connection to St. Patrick's Day.

9 comments:

Olivier said...

on a l'impression que les deux ponts vont se finir dans le fleuve, je trouve que cela ressemble a une photo de fin du monde

Bibi said...

Beautiful shot, Bob. I grew up next to the Sussquehanna, by no means as large, but a very beautiful river.

Thanks for your comment on my post today. The poster was posted on some sort of electrical box; doubt if it is in use anymore, though.

brattcat said...

Excellent composition, Bob. Love the perspective and tone of this.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Great photo. The channelization of the Mississippi is an example of where what is good for flood control of each location, locally, is bad for flood control of the entire river system, collectively. There need to be flood plains to relieve the pressure of the spring run off. That is why there is a "100-year flood" much more often than 100 years. The Mississippi is hitting higher flood levels with less volume of water.

National Geographic had an excellent article on this about 20 or so years ago.

The worst example of this is the Yangtze RIver in China. They have built so many levees and eliminated so many flood plains that the river is channelled higher than the surrounding ground in places in the lower part of the river.

Virginia said...

Lovely image. Hope you didn't get too wet!
V

Sharon said...

This is a great shot!

Paula said...

I burst out laughing when I saw that bright green "shark" jumping out of the sepia tone. Great, even if it is unintentional.

Louis la Vache said...

For a moment there, «Louis» thought that might be the elusive Loch Ness Monster on a Mississippi cruise...

Chuck Pefley said...

I'm liking this photo very much, Bob. The sepia treatment seems to give it a surreal and timeless quality ... so appropriate for Old Man River.