Geology on the Wing Wednesdays #11 – Mississippi River meander bend at New Madrid, MO
The blog has been quiet for a while, but here is one I had to share. This photo was taken about 35,000 feet above the Mississippi river near New Madrid, MO. New Madrid is famous for earthquakes in the early 1800s that altered the course of the river (see this ppt for an overview).
The reason I took this photo was not about the earthquakes, but about the large meander bend that is nearly at cutoff. Flow is from lower left to upper right, and this bend is only 1 river width away from becoming an oxbow lake. For a nice time lapse view of how this happens, click here. Given current channel migration rates (~50 m per year for undisturbed portions), this cutoff will occur within the next few years (unless the Amry Corps of Engineers chooses to fight the river and reinforce the banks). I suspect they have already done so (an intrepid reader could check the Google Earth time slider bar…)