Mississippi flood Case Study

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Mississippi - the Facts

  • The river basin is the fifth largest in the world

  • It is the third longest river in the world behind the Nile & the Amazon

  • The river discharges 584 million tonnes of sediment a year

  • The flood plain is 200km wide at its widest point

  • The Mississippi flows through 10 states

  • The river carries 13% of all freight traffic in the USA

  • Its main tributaries are the R. Ohio,  R. Kansas, R. Missouri & the Red River


The Causes of the 1993 Flood

  • Floods are normal in the mid-west - usually arriving in the spring when rain and snowmelt fill the streams & rivers that drain the upper Mississippi Basin

  • In 1993 as normal this happened - the soil was still saturated from spring rains. Normally this is followed by dry weather &has done so for the last 20 years

  • In 1993 Atmospheric conditions conspired to bring further torrential rains to the Mississippi Basin


a. A Jet stream swung South bringing Cool dry air
b. Warm air moved North causing


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