QUESTIONS TO ANSWER WHILE WATCHING THE GREAT RIVER
1. How long is the Mississippi River? _______________ miles
2. How much does its elevation change from its headwaters to its mouth?
3. Approximately how old is the river? ________________ years
4. Name four major cities located on the Mississippi River.
5. What feature of the river controlled the location of Minneapolis?
6. Why did Mark Twain call the Mississippi "the crookedest river in the world"?
Why did Mark Twain say that the river is "too thick to drink, too thin to plow"?
What is the source of all of the sediment?
7. How thick is the sediment that sits at the southern end of the river?
8. How fast is the Mississippi delta area sinking each year?
9. Why is this area sinking?
10. What tectonic feature controls the location of the Mississippi River?
11. How is the origin of the Rocky Mountains related to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean?
12. Before the Ice Age, in which direction did the rivers in North America flow?
13. What happened to the river in December of 1811?
14. What happens to sandy sediments during earthquake shocks?
15. How often do earthquakes occur in Memphis, Tennessee?
16. How deep are the fractures that caused the New Madrid earthquake?
Under how much sediment are the fractures buried?
17. Why do earthquakes occur in the center of a continent when most tectonic activity takes place at the edges of continents?
18. Why is the soil along the MIssissippi River so fertile?
19. What are levees?
What purpose do levees serve?
20. What effect does levee building have on the river?
21. What is the purpose of artificial floodways?
22. Why do they lay concrete along the riverbank?
How expensive is it?
23. What is the elevation of New Orleans with respect to sea level?
24. How fast is New Orleans sinking?
25. What is unique about the cemeteries in New Orleans?
26. In the marsh areas of the delta, what happens ecologically?
27. In the 1950's, DDT was used in agriculture (it is an insecticide used to fight the boll weevil). What effect did DDT have on the life of the delta?
28. How many oil wells have been drilled in this area?
29. How much silt is carried to the delta each year?
30. What happens to the silt that is carried to the delta?
31. What happens to plankton and organic matter if it is buried and protected from oxygen?
32. After oil is formed, where does it go?
33. How many barrels of oil have been pumped from this region?
34. What happens around salt domes?
35. How do salt domes form?
36. Approximately how many salt domes are there in this region?
37. What happens to the delta as canals are built?
38. What steps have been taken to prevent delta lobe-switching, and to keep the river from changing course? How much money has been spent?
39. What is happening to the delta in the Atchafalaya area?
40. How much land is washing away each year?
Return to Georgia Geoscience Online
Page created by Pamela J. W. Gore
October 18, 1998
Exercise originally created 1990