Click on a tributary to bring up information on that river.
[Mississippi River] [Missouri River] [Arkansas River] [Ohio River] [Others]
[Flood of 1993]
of the World] and [Fishing]
For more maps and classroom information on the Mississippi River, check
out the Mississippi River Activity Guide for Kids! Teacher Resource Kit with classroom notes, poster-sized map,
and reproduction rights available. Heritage Press, Rt. 1, Stoddard, WI 54658
608-457-2734. Visit the Mississippi River Home Page at http://www.greatriver.com
For Jack, who wants to know more about all the tributaries of the Mississippi River:
how many there are, their names, and how long they are!
TRIBUTARIES OF THE MISSISSIPPI
The longest stream of river in the US is
the Missouri River
which begins at Three Forks, Montana (elevation 4,032 feet) and flows 2,714 miles to near
St. Louis, Missouri. Many people consider the Missouri to be the main reach of the
The Mississippi River, from
its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota, to the Gulf of Mexico, is only 2,348 miles long.
The combined reach of the Missouri-Mississippi Rivers is 3,741 miles--a length exceeded
only by the Amazon and Nile rivers. The Mississippi River has shortened by several
hundred miles since the days of Mark Twain. Even today it varies 30-50 miles each year.
The Ohio River is the second
major tributary of the Mississippi. It is formed in Pittsburgh by the junction of the
Alleghany and Monongahela River and travels about 980 miles to Cairo, Illinois, and the
Mississippi River. Interestingly, today's Ohio River Basin is approximately the northern
extremety of the ancient shallow sea that is represented today by the Gulf of Mexico!
Consider that nearly 1/3 of the nation's water drains past the confluence of the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers at Fort Defiance in Cairo, Illiois!
The Arkansas River
forms in the
Rocky Mountains in Colorado and meanders 1,450 miles through Kansas, Oklahoma, and
Arkansas. It is the main water source for the state of Arkansas.
There are some 250 tributaries of the Mississippi which drain a
total area of more than 1,247,000 square miles--one third of the nation's landmass!
Remember the Mississippi River Flood of 1993?
It wasn't just the Mississippi River flooding that wreaked havoc, it was that all those
tributaries flooded as well! At one point, the volume of water flowing past St. Louis was
eleven times the volume of Niagara Falls!!
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