Monday, November 30, 2020

Rivers of USA

                          Rivers of USA


Rivers of USA

Rivers of USA: Rivers are a source of freshwater for drinking, domestic use, and agriculture. They are a means of transportation. Source of electricity generation. Rivers also help grow fish and other aquatic food and are a means of recreation.

The United States of America has more than 2,50,000 rivers. The largest by means of the volume being the Mississippi River and the longest river by length is the Missouri River.

Let us now look at some of the most important rivers in the USA.

1. Mississippi River

Mississippi River is the longest river in North America. Along with its flow southwards from Lake Itasca, it collects water from the Missouri River and Ohio River, which are its tributaries. Mississippi along with Missouri is the fourth-longest river in the world. Mississippi River is the busiest commercial waterway which was subject to a huge amount of human interference and intervention in its course. It flows for about 3750 km. The Mississippi drains 31 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces in part or full with its watershed which lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. The main stem of the river is within the United States. The river either passes or borders states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Mississippi has a historical significance as the native civilizations flourished around the river. The rivers strategic importance played a crucial role in the American civil war. The word Mississippi means big river or great river. It is divided into three sections -  the Upper Mississippi, from its origin to the confluence with the Missouri River; the Middle Mississippi, from Missouri to the Ohio River; and the Lower Mississippi, from Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico.

2. Missouri River

Missouri River is the longest river in the USA and it is the longest tributary of the Mississippi River. The river has high silt content and hence it is nicknamed 'big muddy river'.

There are different opinions on the origin of the Missouri River. Missouri begins at Missouri Headwaters State Park in Montana. It is the confluence of the Jefferson River and the Madison River. Missouri River flows approximately 3700 km before entering the Mississippi River. Native Americans populated and flourished around the Missouri River basin. The river also helped trade flourish through its waterways. Missouri River led to explosive growth in the fur trade in the early 18th century. Missouri is a source of irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. Missouri Valley is a densely populated and highly productive area in terms of both agriculture and industrial aspects.

The Missouri River is fed by more than 95 significant tributaries and several smaller streams. Some of the major tributaries include James, Big Sioux, and Grand River, the Yellowstone, the Platte, the Kansas–Republican/Smoky Hill, Milk River, White River, and Osage, etc. Missouri is also a recreational river and attracts tourists.

3. Yukon River

Yukon River is a major river of northwestern and northern America. The name Yukon means white water or pale-colored water which are the result of glacial run-off. Yukon also means great river or a large stream. The river has its origin in Canada and it flows into Alaska of the United States. Yukon River is originated from the Llewellyn Glacier, in British Columbia. The river flows for about 3200 km. A section of this river in Alaska is a national heritage river and it flows through the Klondike Gold Rush International Park. Yukon River then empties into the Bering sea.
The Yukon River is the longest river in Yukon in Canada and Alaska and it is the third-longest river in North America. The major tributaries of the Yukon River in Alaska are the Porcupine, Tanana, and Koyukuk rivers.
Yukon River is well known for the best Salmons found here. It has an intact ecosystem and is rich in minerals. Gold was found during the exploration of minerals at the Yukon River basin and this led to the beginning of the Klondike Gold Rush.

4. Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande is the fifth-longest river in the United States. It is in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. Rio Grande River begins in the Colorado of the United States and crosses the international border of US- Mexico and flows through New Mexico and it drains into the Gulf of Mexico. The right and left tributaries of Rio Grande River are Red River, Rio Hondo, Rio Pueblo de Taos, Embudo River, Santa Fe River, Galisteo Creek, Alamito Creek, Terlingua Creek, Pecos River, Devils River, Conejos River, Rio Chama, Jemez River, Rio Puerco, Rio Conchos, Rio Salado, Rio Alamo, and San Juan River.
The watershed area of Rio Grande is a source for irrigation, agriculture and several industries flourish with its waters.

5. St Lawrence River

The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the USA. It forms an international border between Canada and the USA. Saint Lawrence River connects the great lakes of the USA and it forms the commercial Saint Lawrence Seaway. St Lawrence drains into the Atlantic Sea. It is about 3050 km long and is the third longest river in Canada. St Lawrence is a mighty river and is economically, and ecologically important. The river also forms an estuary.
St Lawrence connects several cities and major ports with its navigable waterways. The Ottawa River, the Saguenay River, the Manicouagan River, the St-Maurice River, the Richelieu River are some of St Lawrence s major tributaries.

6. Arkansas River

The Arkansas River is about 2300 km long and is the sixth largest river in the USA. It is the second longest tributary of the Mississippi-Missouri river system. The Arkansas River flows through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Missouri.

Every river has a story to say. Every river is beautiful in its own way. The USA is full of rivers which formed beautiful meanders, gorges and natural flowing waterways. Rivers are the natural sources of freshwater, source of irrigation and agriculture, they help the economy grow by supporting industrial and population needs. They also support navigation and transportation. This article discussed a few of the longest rivers in the USA.

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