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Mississippi River (Research Paper Sample)


Class: Ecology of Iowa Topic: Mississippi River

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Class Ecology of Iowa
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is considered to be the most extensive drainage system in Northern America. It is estimated that the Mississippi River is roughly more than three thousand kilometers meandering to the Gulf of Mexico at the Mississippi River Delta. Surveys have indicated that the Mississippi River has diverse tributaries with the watershed extending to thirty one states within the United States. Statistics compiled on the global rating indicated that the Mississippi River is the tenth largest river internationally and fourth longest river internationally. Mississippi River borders State of Iowa, State of Minnesota, State of Wisconsin, State of Missouri, State of Arkansas, State of Louisiana, State of Mississippi, State of Tennessee, State of Illinois and State of Kentucky.
Main Body
The Mississippi River is a major river source in the United States considering habitat, size and biological productivity (Holland 17). The source of The Mississippi River is Lake Itasca heading to the Gulf of Mexico (Plazak 61). A combination of Missouri-Mississippi Rivers is ranked at the fourth position; following Nile River in Africa, Amazon River and the Yangtze River. Surveys have indicated that the length of a river changes with the erosion and deposits as the river meanders, approaches a delta or if the river is cut off. Measurements may differ depending on the time when the measurements were taken.
 HYPERLINK "/" The length of the Mississippi River has been contentious depending on when the measurements were taken. Itasca State Park argues that the Mississippi River is roughly 2,552 miles; United States Geologic Survey indicated that the Mississippi River is 2,300 miles and surveys conducted by the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area argued that the Mississippi River is 2,350 miles long. Mississippi River at Itasca Lake is estimated to be twenty and fifty feet wide, which is part of the narrowest stretch of the whole river.
Widest part of the Mississippi River is at Lake Winnibigoshish Lake at Bena, where it stretches for eleven miles. At Lake Pepin, Mississippi River is two miles wide and it’s the widest navigable part of the river. The average speed of the river varies with regions, but it is estimated to stand at one point two miles per hour. Surveys conducted in New Orleans indicated that the Mississippi River flows at three miles per hour.
The Mississippi River watershed is considered to be one of the largest internationally, taking position four. The Mississippi River watershed extends from Rocky Mountains in the West to Allegheny Mountains in the East. The Mississippi River watershed is estimated to be one point two million square miles taking approximately forty percent of the forty eight states in the lower part of the United States.
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