Dictionary

 

Here are a few terms that may help you understand the complex Mississippi river system.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
chute
A waterfall or rapid.
confluence
A flowing together of two or more streams or rivers.
dam
a.A barrier constructed across a waterway to control the flow or raise the level of water.
b.A body of water controlled by such a barrier.
c.To hold back or confine by means of a dam.
deposition
The act of depositing, especially the laying down of matter by a natural process.
erosion
The group of natural processes, including weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion and transportation, by which material is worn away from the earth's surface.
firebreak
A strip of cleared or plowed land used to stop the spread of a fire. Also called fireguard.
flood
The temporary overflow of a river onto adjacent lands that are not normally covered by water.
geology
The scientific study of the origin, history, and structure of the earth.
ground water
Water beneath Earth's surface, often between saturated soil and rock, that supplies wells and springs.
hazardous waste
A substance which is toxic, ignitable, radioactive, corrosive or reactive (reacts violently with air or water, explodes or generates toxic gases). Usually, but not always, a by-product of industry.
headwaters
The water from which a river rises; a source.
hydroelectric
Generating electricity by conversion of the energy of running water.
hypoxia
Condition within a body of water when dissolved oxygen levels are reduced due to high concentrations of unicellular organisms and their feces being devoured by bacteria (especially in the Gulf of Mexico).
irrigation
To supply (dry land) with water by means of ditches, pipes, or streams; To water artificially.
lock
A section of a waterway, such as a canal, closed off with gates, in which vessels in transit are raised or lowered by raising or lowering the water level of that section.
marsh
An area of soft, wet, low-lying land, characterized by grassy vegetation and often forming a transition zone between water and land.
meander
A curve in a stream.
mesic
Of, characterized by, or adapted to a moderately moist habitat.
outcropping
A portion of bedrock or other stratum protruding through the soil level.
oxbow lake
A crescent-shaped lake formed when a meander of a river or stream is cut off from the main channel.
prarie
An extensive area of flat or rolling, predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America.
river
A large natural stream of water emptying into an ocean, a lake or another body of water and usually fed along its course by converging tributaries.
reservoir
A natural or artificial pond or lake used for the storage and regulation of water.
sandbar
A ridge of sand formed in a river or along a shore by the action of waves or currents.
sediment
Solid fragments of inorganic or organic material that come from the weathering of rock and are carried and deposited by wind, water or ice.
sinkhole
A natural depression in a land surface communicating with a subterranean passage, generally occurring in limestone regions and formed by solution or by collapse of a cavern roof.
valley
An extensive area of land drained or irrigated by a river system.
watershed
The region draining into a river, river system, or other body of water.
wetland
A lowland area, such as a marsh or swamp, that is saturated with moisture, especially when regarded as the natural habitat of wildlife: a program to preserve our state's wetlands.
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