The 1973 Flood and Man's Constriction of the Mississippi River

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Aug 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4204, pp. 681-684
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4204.681


The progressive constriction of the Mississippi for navigation since 1837 has caused bottom erosion in some stretches. In others the bottom oscillates up and down with time. The high stages rise much more rapidly. Constriction of the river channel causes flooding and makes floods higher; thus navigation works degrade the protection afforded by levees. The combination of navigation works and levees causes significant rises in the stages of floods. Additional channel constriction and levee building will cause further problems. The 1973 flood's record was man-made.

Stay Connected to Science