Cover of Managing Mississippi and Ohio River Landscapes
Table of Contents

Managing Mississippi and Ohio River Landscapes
By Kenneth R. Olson and Lois Wright Morton
240 full-color pages, 8.5" x 11" hardcover
ISBN 978-0-9856923-1-5

Two powerful rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi, and their tributaries drain more than 41% of the interior continental United States. Their shifting paths have shaped and reshaped the landscapes through which they flow and the confluences where their sediment-laden waters co-mingle on the voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. Changing climates and extreme weather events over the millennia have carved new channels through river bottomlands, leaving rock-exposed uplands and fertile valleys behind while altering the location where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet. Since the great rivers often become state boundaries, their historic realignment has added or subtracted land from many states which border them. For much of their history, the lands adjacent to these rivers were low-lying bottomlands that flood with the seasons unconstrained by human structures. However, in the last century these rivers have become agricultural economic engines as humans reengineered the rivers and their bottomlands with extensive systems of levees, locks and dams, floodwalls, and reservoirs. 

Through a series of engaging case studies accompanied by illustrative maps and photographs, the authors examine the complex and ever-changing Mississippi and Ohio rivers’ landscapes and their systems; review historical impacts of climate, economic and population growth, and efforts to manage river landscapes with engineered structures; and make recommendations on future management to protect soil and water resources and facilitate social, economic, and ecosystem balance. This book serves as a powerful resource for private and public landowners and managers, soil scientists, conservationists, sociologists, wetland specialists, hydrologists, geologists, and those interested in the future of our river landscapes.

Note: Select chapters are available for free PDF download in the "Table of Contents" tab above. This title is also available as a PDF e-book.

Table of Contents

Front Matter



Chapter 1. Management of Mississippi and Ohio River Landscapes

Chapter 2. Geologic and Climatic Impacts on Ancient Mississippi and Ohio River Systems   

Chapter 3. How Realigned Ancient Rivers Influenced the Border Locations of Eight Central States 

Chapter 4. Multifunctional Bottomlands: Sny Island Levee Drainage District

Chapter 5. Conversion of Missouri’s Big Swamp to Fertile Agricultural Land 

Chapter 6. Upland Diversions and Bottomland Drainage Systems: Intended and Unintended Consequences 

Chapter 7. St. Johns Levee and Drainage District Attempts to Mitigate Internal Flooding

Chapter 8. Flooding and Levee Breach Impacts on Protected Agricultural Lands

Chapter 9. Impacts of 2008 Flooding on Agricultural Lands in Illinois and Indiana

Chapter 10. Impacts of 2011 Induced Levee Breaches on Agricultural Lands of the Mississippi River Valley

Chapter 11. Repair of the 2011 Flood-Damaged Birds Point–New Madrid Floodway

Chapter 12. Settlement and Land Use Changes in the New Madrid Floodway

Chapter 13. Impact of Levee Breaches, Flooding, and Land Scouring on O’Bryan Ridge Soil Productivity

Chapter 14. The 2011 Ohio River Flooding of the Cache River Valley in Southern Illinois

Chapter 15. Impacts of the 2011 Len Small–Fayville Levee Breach on Private and Public Illinois Lands

Chapter 16. The City of Cairo, Illinois, at the Confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

Chapter 17. Managing River Pressure from the 2011 Record Flood on Ohio and Mississippi River Levees at Cairo

Chapter 18. Navigation and Flooding on the Ohio River

Chapter 19. Managing the Tennessee River Landscape

Chapter 20. Managing the Cumberland River Landscape

Chapter 21. Managing the Upper Mississippi River to Improve Commercial Navigation

Chapter 22. Dredging of the Fractured Bedrock-Lined Mississippi River Channel at Thebes, Illinois

Chapter 23. The Illinois Waterway Connecting the Mississippi River and Great Lakes

Chapter 24. Soil Degradation and Flooding Risk Decision Making in Leveed Agricultural Landscapes

Chapter 25. Managing Ohio and Mississippi River Landscapes for the Future

About the Authors


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