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Quaternary geology of the Lower Mississippi Valley

By
Whitney J. Autin
Whitney J. Autin
Louisiana Geological Survey, Box G, University Station, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70893
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Scott F. Burns
Scott F. Burns
Department of Geosciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana 71272
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Bobby J. Miller
Bobby J. Miller
Department of Agronomy, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Agricultural Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
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Roger T. Saucier
Roger T. Saucier
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Environmental Laboratory, P.O. Box 631, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180-0631
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John I. Snead
John I. Snead
Louisiana Geological Survey, Box G, University Station, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70893
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The Lower Mississippi Valley is a 780-km lowland in the south-central United States extending from near Cairo, Illinois, south to the Gulf of Mexico (Fig. 1). Valley width varies from about 40 to 200 km, and flood-plain elevations range from about 84 m at the Mississippi-Ohio River confluence to sea level where the deltaic plain meets the Gulf of Mexico. The lower Mississippi is North America’s largest river. Its chief tributaries are the upper Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, Red, and Ouachita Rivers. The drainage basin encompasses over 3,200,000 km2, and average discharge to the Gulf of Mexico is approximately 12, 000 m3/s, with a recorded maximum and minimum of 56, 000 and 5, 600 m3/s.

The lower Mississippi Valley has developed since at least Cretaceous time in a terrain of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks as old as Precambrian. The sediment delivered to the delta is chiefly silt and clay. Cycles of delta growth and deterioration have affected the amount of sediment delivered to the chenier plain west of the delta by longshore drift.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Quaternary Nonglacial Geology

Roger B. Morrison
Roger B. Morrison
Morrison and Associates 13150 West Ninth Avenue Golden, Colorado 80401
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Geological Society of America
Volume
K-2
ISBN electronic:
9780813754611
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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