Meander Scars of the Great Mississippi

October 11, 2013

As we’ve learned on expedition, paths will change, unexpected twists and turns are inevitable. Over time, the Mississippi River too, has changed its course, so beautifully depicted in Harold Fisk’s hand-colored maps from 1944 in a report for the US Army Corps of Engineers. This twisted timeline of rainbow ribbons go as far back as some 2000 years, tracing the various stages of the Mississippi. These maps remind us that it is crucial to look backwards to understand hydrological history and examine engineered systems, as we look forward in a sustainable direction.

Here’s a great article on NPR which includes the full set of maps connecting Illinois to Louisiana…
http://www.npr.org/blogs/inside/2010/07/14/128511984/twisted-history-the-wily-mississippi-cuts-new-paths

Read about LSU’s new physical model being developed (of key coastal areas) expected to open in Summer 2014: http://www.lsu.edu/departments/gold/2013/03/river_studies.shtml

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

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