US Army Corps of Engineers
Mississippi Valley Division

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Our Mississippi

December 2014 Our Mississippi

Mississippi River Geomorphology and Potamology

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The Mississippi River Geomorphology and Potamology (MRG&P) Program addresses the need for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to have access to the most up-to-date and technically competent scientific data and analysis for providing navigation and flood risk management in an environmentally responsible manner.  Motivated in large part by the 2011 Mississippi River flood, the MRG&P Program began not only from the viewpoint of what went wrong during an epic flood, but from the perspective of what went right, and understanding the reasons for the difference in river response to recent major floods.  The primary purpose of the current MRG&P Program is to improve our understanding of the evolving geomorphology and potamology of the Mississippi River from the confluence of the Missouri River to the Gulf of Mexico.

What is geomorphology?

Mississippi River geomorphology is the study of how the geometric features of the river have changed over time. Geomorphic assessment provides the foundation for projecting future trends with and without proposed project features. It integrates field surveys, existing gage data, sediment data, measurements of channel geometry, and other hydraulic data to characterize hydrologic trends, interactions of the river, and natural and anthropogenic changes to the waterway.

What is potamology?

Mississippi River potamology includes the studies of ecology, hydraulics, hydrology, and geomorphology. A primary goal of potamology is to understand the impacts from changes in river features.

 


The Mississippi River Geomorphology and Potamology (MRG&P) Program is a joint effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Louis, Memphis, Vicksburg, and New Orleans Districts, conducted with the oversight of the Mississippi Valley Division and technical contributions from the Engineering Research and Development Center.