Red River (Mississippi watershed): Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on Red River (Mississippi watershed)

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Red River (Mississippi River) article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page is about the tributary of the Mississippi River; for the tributary of Lake Winnipeg, see the Red River of the North.
Red River
Stream
Crossing the Red River at the Texas-Oklahoma border from I-35
Country  United States
States Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana
Part of Mississippi River
Length 2,190 km (1,361 mi)
Basin 169,890 km2 (65,595 sq mi)
Discharge
 - average 200 m3/s (7,063 cu ft/s)
Map of the Red River watershed. Note that there is a flaw on the map (the watershed boundary does not actually extend all the way to the Mississippi River).

The Red River, or sometimes The Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers located in the United States of America.[1] The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name. The Red River is the second largest river basin in the southern Great Plains.[2] It rises in two branches (forks) in the Texas Panhandle and flows east, where it acts as the border between present-day states of Texas and Oklahoma. It is a short border between Texas and Arkansas before entering Arkansas, turning south near Fulton, Arkansas and flowing into Louisiana. The total length of the river is 1,360 miles (2,190 km).

Contents

Geography

Advertisements

Course

The Red River rises in two forks in northern Texas and southwestern Oklahoma. The southern and largest fork, which is about 120 miles (190 km), is generally called the Prairie Dog Town Fork. It is formed in Randall County, Texas near the county seat of Canyon, by the confluence of intermittent Palo Duro Creek and Tierra Blanca Creek. (The names mean "Hard Wood" and "White Land", respectively, in Spanish.)

The Red River changed its course near Natchitoches, Louisiana, and left behind Cane River Lake.

The Red River turns and flows southeast through Palo Duro Canyon in Palo Duro Canyon State Park at an elevation of 3,440 feet (1,050 m),[2] then past Newlin, Texas to meet the Oklahoma state line. Past that point, it is generally considered as the main stem of the Red River. Near Elmer, Oklahoma the North Fork finally joins, and the river proceeds to follow a winding course east through one of the most arid parts of the Great Plains, receiving the Wichita River from the right as it passes the city of Wichita Falls. Near Sherman the river enters the western end of Lake Texoma, a reservoir formed by the Denison Dam. The lake is also fed by the Washita River from the north.

After the river flows out of the southeastern end of the lake, it runs generally east towards Arkansas and receives Muddy Boggy Creek from the left before turning southwards near Texarkana. Soon after, the river crosses south into Louisiana and bisects Shreveport before spreading into the complex network of marshlands surrounding the Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River. Its waters eventually discharge into both rivers, and flow eastwards or southwards into the Gulf of Mexico.

Tributaries

Tributaries include the Prairie Dog Town Fork Red River, Salt Fork Red River, North Fork Red River, Pease River, Wichita River, Little Wichita River, Loggy Bayou (through Lake Bistineau and Dorcheat Bayou)

Outflow

The Red River has a mean flow of over 7,000 cubic feet per second (200 m3/s).

Watershed

The Red River's watershed covers 65,590 square miles (169,900 km2)[2] and is the southernmost major right tributary of the Mississippi, and the southernmost major river system in the Great Plains. Its drainage basin is mostly in the states of Texas and Oklahoma, but also covers parts of Arkansas and Louisiana. The river basin is characterized by flat, fertile agricultural land and there are only a few major cities. The drainage basin of the Red is very arid and receives little precipitation. As a result, much of the river above the Texas-Oklahoma border is intermittent, and until past its great bend south in Arkansas, the river's flow varies widely. The lower course of the river flows through a series of marshes and swamps, where its flow is dramatically moderated. Most of the agriculture in the basin is sustained by groundwater, which is rapidly being depleted.

History

Native Americans

Native American cultures along the river were diverse, developing specialized adaptations to the many different environments.[2] By the time of European contact, the eastern piney woods were dominated by the numerous tribes of the Caddoan Confederacy. They found plentiful game and fish, and also had good land for cultivating staple crops.[2] The middle part of the Red River was dominated by Wichita and Tonkawa. This area was prairie, where Native Americans constructed portable and temporary tepees for housing. They had limited farming and followed game in seasonal, nomadic hunting cycles.[2] The Apache dominated the western Red River area until the 1700s, when they were displaced by invading Comanche from the north.[2]

European-American exploration

In 1806 Zebulon Pike mounted an expedition to map the Red River, along with several other drainages such as the Arkansas River. He was captured by the Spanish shortly before striking the headwaters of the Red River.[3] Randolph B. Marcy led an expedition several decades later to find the source of the Red River.

Great Raft

In the early 19th century, settlers found that much of the river's length in Louisiana was unnavigable because of a collection of fallen trees that formed a "Great Raft" over 160 miles (260 km) long. Captain Henry Miller Shreve began clearing the log jam in 1839. The log jam was not completely cleared until the 1870s, when dynamite became available. The river was thereafter navigable, but north of Natchitoches, it was restricted to small craft.

In the 20th century, the interest group known as the Red River Valley Association was formed to lobby the United States Congress to make the river fully navigable between Alexandria and Shreveport, Louisiana. Leading supporters of the longstanding project were Louisiana Democratic senators Allen J. Ellender, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. and Russell B. Long, Louisiana's former Fourth District Congressman Joseph David "Joe D." Waggonner, Jr., and the late Shreveport Mayor Littleberry Calhoun Allen, Jr. With the completion of the project, a lock system constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (COE) now allows navigation of barge traffic as far north as Shreveport.

Greer County debate

Specialists debate whether North Fork or Prairie Dog Town Fork is the true stem.[2] Because of a cartographic error, the land between the north and south forks was claimed by both the state of Texas and the federal government. Randolph Marcy's expedition followed Prairie Dog Town Fork in 1852.[2] Originally called Greer County, Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it belonged to the United States, which at the time oversaw the Oklahoma Territory. That territory was later incorporated into the state of Oklahoma, whose southern border now follows the south fork. Today the southern Prairie Dog Town Fork is considered the main fork, even though the North Fork is as long and normally has a greater water flow.[2]

Recreation

In 1943 Denison Dam was built on the Red River to form Lake Texoma, a large reservoir of 89,000 acres (360 km²), some 70 miles (110 km) north of Dallas. Other reservoirs on the river's tributaries serve as flood control.

See also

References

  1. ^ *Tyson, Carl N. The Red River in Southwestern History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8061-1659-5
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Benke, Arthur; Colbert Cushing (2005). River of North America. Academic Press. pp. 1144. ISBN 0120882531, 9780120882533. http://books.google.com/books?id=-bLMR552QBMC. 
  3. ^ The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805-6-7

External links

Geology

Coordinates: 31°1′10″N 91°44′52″W / 31.01944°N 91.74778°W / 31.01944; -91.74778



-Oklahoma Border from the I-35]]

The Red River is one of several rivers with that name. It rises in two branches (forks) in the Texas Panhandle and flows east forming the border between Texas and Oklahoma, and briefly between Texas and Arkansas. At Fulton, Arkansas, the river turns south into Louisiana to empty into the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers. The total length of this journey is 1,360 miles (2,190 km). The river gains its name from the red-clay farmland of its watershed. Since 1943 the Red River has been dammed by Denison Dam to form Lake Texoma, a large reservoir of 89,000 acres (360 km²), some 70 miles (110 km) north of Dallas. Other reservoirs serve as flood control on the river's tributaries. The Red has a mean flow of over 7,000 ft³/s.

Much of the river's length in Louisiana was unnavigable in the early 19th century because of a collection of fallen trees that formed a "Great Raft" over 160 miles (260 km) long. Captain Henry Miller Shreve began clearing the log jam in 1839. The log jam was not completely cleared until the 1870's when dynamite became available. The river was thereafter navigable, but only for small craft north of Natchitoches.

The interest group known as the Red River Valley Association was formed to lobby the United States Congress to make the river fully navigable between Alexandria and Shreveport, Louisiana. Leading supporters of the longstanding project were Louisiana Democratic senators Allen J. Ellender, J. Bennett Johnston, Jr. and Russell B. Long, Louisiana's former Fourth District Congressman Joseph David "Joe D." Waggonner, Jr., and the late Shreveport Mayor Littleberry Calhoun Allen, Jr. This project has been completed, and a lock system now allows navigation of barge traffic as far north as Shreveport.

Because of a cartographic error, the land between the north and south forks was claimed by both the state of Texas and the federal government. Originally called Greer County, Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it belonged to the federal government, which at the time oversaw the Oklahoma Territory. That territory was later incorporated into the state of Oklahoma, whose southern border now follows the south fork.

That southern fork, which is about 120 miles (190 km), is generally called the Prairie Dog Town Fork. It is formed in Randall County, Texas near the county seat of Canyon, by the confluence of intermittent Palo Duro Creek and Tierra Blanca Creek. (The names mean "Hard Wood" and "White Land", respectively, in Spanish.) It flows east-southeast, through Palo Duro Canyon in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, then past Newlin, Texas, to meet the Oklahoma state line. From there eastward, it is usually referred to as the Red River, even before meeting the north fork.

See also

References

  • Tyson, Carl N. The Red River in Southwestern History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8061-1659-5

External links

Coordinates: 31°1′10″N 91°44′52″W / 31.01944°N 91.74778°W / 31.01944; -91.74778


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message