The Missouri River

the-missouri-river

This undergraduate paper discusses the main features of the Missouri River. The first people appeared in the valley of the Missouri River more than 12 thousand years ago, the banks were inhabited by more than 10 different tribes of Native Americans. The word “Missouri” can be translated from the language of the local tribe as “dirty river”. The river was named so due to silty shores, which painted water in orange shades in some areas. So, it is often called «Big Muddy».

The Missouri River is the largest right tributary of the Mississippi River, the longest river in North America and longest river inflow on the planet. Length of the river is 3767 km (according to some sources – 4740 km). The area of the river basin amounts 1 370 000 km2, with 10 000 km2 are located in Canada, occupying 1/6 of the entire country.

The river was formed in a merger of Jefferson River, Gallatin River and Madison River that originate in the eastern part of the Rocky Mountains (the area of Yellowstone National Park) and are connected into one river at an altitude of 4132 m above sea level. Some of the major tributaries are Yellowstone, Little Missouri, Platte, Cheyenne, Kansas, Milk, Big Sioux.

The Missouri River forms a natural border for the states of Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Large dams constructed on the river have turned it into a chain of storage reservoirs. A famous reservoir known as Canyon Ferry Lake is close to the rapids of Great Falls, where the water falls from 187 meters. The river crosses the states of North and South Dakota and Montana. Currently, the watercourse of Missouri is considered to be a paradise for tourism and sport. It is hard to find undeveloped places on its banks, so a powerful cluster of tourist infrastructure for sports waits travelers.

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