Adsactly Education - Missouri River Part 3

in education •  4 months ago

Adsactly Education: Missouri River Part 3

In the first part of this series (available here) we covered the flow, geology and early history of the indigenous people of the Missouri. The second part (available here) detailed the part the river played in the westward expansion of the US.

Bridges and Dams

Do you think the first Transcontinental Railroad in the US actually connected the East and West coasts? You would be mistaken. The road actually ran from Omaha Nebraska to Sacramento California. The reason for that is because there was no bridge over the Missouri River. The Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869 but the bridge that actually connected to the east coast lines wasn’t built until 1872. Passengers could ride from New York City to near the river where they disembarked and rode a ferry across to Omaha where they picked up the train for Sacramento.


There is no possible way to overstate or overestimate the importance of the Railroads in the settlement of the Western United States. That bridge that the Union Pacific built over the Missouri River averaged 320 freight trains crossing it every 24 hours by 1888 when a new bridge was built.

The railroads changed the way the country viewed itself. The overland transcontinental travel time was reduced from at least 6 weeks to 6 days. People in the east started viewing the west as a part of the United States rather than some exotic place on the other side of the continent. Goods and materials flowed both ways over the plains. Products manufactured in the east built the west and raw material and food poured into the east.


The first dam on the river was Black Eagle Dam in the area of Great Falls Montana was built in 1891. It was built as a hydro electric project to bring power to Montana. It diverted part of the flow of the river into a hydro producing reservoir. In all, there are 5 hydro producing dams, all on the upper Missouri and all built by the 1930s. The Corps of Engineer Dams also produce a large amount of electricity making the Missouri a very large producer of power.

More imposing and impressive are the ‘flood control’ structures built by the Army Corps of Engineers. There are a total of six of these starting at the Ft. Peck dam in Montana and ending with Gavins Point Dam in Missouri. They were conceived after a number of serious floods that inundated cities and towns. Ft. Peck dam was constructed as a public works project during the great depression and completed in 1940. The six big dams built by the Corps of Engineers have huge reservoirs behind them which can hold up to three years of total flow of the river, making the reservoir system one of the largest in the world.


The impoundment basins behind the dams also provide irrigation water to more than 7500 sq miles (19,000 sq. km) of farmland, some of the most productive land on earth.


Original navigation of the Missouri River was accomplished by the Native Americans with canoes and leather skinned boats. The fur traders started using rafts and barges to haul the furs to St. Louis where they were sold to furriers from the eastern US.

The first known Steamboat on the river was in service by 1819 ferrying mostly passengers going west and furs and timber going east. The Missouri was not as predictable as the Mississippi but there were still a large number of Steamboats running the river by the time of the Civil War. Shortly after the war the railroads started cutting into the Steamboat business and they all but disappeared from the river by the turn of the 20th Century.


By the early 20th Century engineers started straightening and deepening parts of the river so tugs could push barges all the way to Sioux City Iowa. As early as 1925 the Army Corps of Engineers took over building and maintaining the shipping channel in the Missouri. Small ‘wing dams’ and dredging made a relatively straight and clear channel to Sioux City. The Corps maintains that channel yet today.

A River at Risk

There are multiple factors which put the Missouri at risk. The long run through the alluvial Great Plains generates a staggering amount of sediment which can block channels and leave shipping traffic high and dry.

Construction of the ship channel has actually helped the sediment problem on the River but that sediment is piling up behind dams and naturally occuring barriers. At some point the dredging and channelization will not work. Coupled with a huge reduction in barge tonnage on the river there is talk about letting the river take it’s course which would put people and business at risk during a flood event.

Most of the river’s naturally occuring riparian zone in the multiple floodplains along the river have been removed in favor of farmland. This leads to terrible water quality from agricultural runoff and the increased flow zones when levees are constructed to protect the farmlands. It also leads to increased flood damage downstream because the historic flooding zones took some of the fury out of high water events. By protecting those zones with levees and channels more water ends up downstream faster. A bad mix in a flood event.


Manufacturing and industry along the river have also contributed to the degraded water quality, particularly in the lower river.

The Missouri has proven to be susceptible to global warming with it’s epic changes in flow rate. Two huge flood events and a prolonged drought already this century hint at more bad outcomes to people living along the river.

The Missouri River is a river at risk, and much of that risk has been generated by human engineering. For a waterway that is so vital to the well being of the entire continent amazingly little attention is being paid to it’s long term health.

While the words and ideas in this post are strictly those of the author this source was referred to by me to insure numerical and historical accuracy.
Wikipedia: Missouri River

Unsourced Photos are used courtesy of the author.

Authored by: @bigtom13

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It's time we started to respect the natural environment instead of destroying it. We still have time to do this, but not much. Reject the Super Sewer and vote for bringing our rivers back to life.
There is hope! The League believes that a healthy Missouri River will be able to produce self-sustaining fish and wildlife populations. We just need to work together to get there.


There is still time, particularly for the Missouri. But it takes willpower, and we seem to be lacking some of that commodity.

amazing post bro @ adsactly. yes the Missouri River was accomplished by the Native Americans. This river si the famous river inthe Native America.
I am very much happy to see that others doing the same and this would become the culture on the steem.
Thank you for everything you do to improve this already great platform. Much appreciation from me!


It certainly played a huge part, but I have one part left in the series. The Missouri's mother, the Mississippi. The impact on the entire continent is enormous.

The six big dams have huge reservoirs behind them which can hold up to three years of total flow of the river, making the reservoir system one of the largest in the world.

😮! That’s something! It’s also hard to believe that all dams were built at the same time, before 1930, when all over the world wars were in its peak. But no matter what, Americans kept building (I think mostly immigrants from all over the world).

The Missouri River is a river at risk, and much of that risk has been generated by human engineering.

Why am I not surprised? I actually would be shocked if these issues were caused by nature.
Very interesting and educational series of Missouri River.


America did keep building through the entire depression. I read an estimate that the Missouri River Dams kept 50,000 Laborers employed steadily for 8 or 9 years.

Glad you enjoyed the series. It's always good to have you along.

Hello friend @bigtom13, how are you feeling? I hope you are well.... first of all I would like to apologize for all this time in which I was a little away from steemit and @adsactly, actually I was very busy with my final thesis degree, for all that I apologize, but well.... I'm back, maybe in one of these days I'll go to your discord chat and talk a little bit...

From what I read in your post this river seems very interesting to me, in fact I didn't know it existed, there's one thing that strikes me as particularly interesting is that salmon runs are worth more than $50 million a year for Idaho, a landlocked state. However, you also mentioned that this is not its net value, since it is very difficult to calculate because many are caught, however you mentioned that the total value is 500 million dollars.

Another thing that caught my attention is that this river is a source of renewable energy, since 65% of the hydroelectric energy produced in the northeast comes from here, without a doubt this river must continue to be exploited (in the good sense) but knowing that all the resources of this world are finite, that is to say that they can be exhausted, so it must be a correct exploitation.

This river has a lot to give, however the amount of money it generates is large, but it is very good to get as much benefit, as the generation of hydroelectric power, in short... Greetings to you friend @bigtom13 and to all the community of writers of @adsactly, without further ado I say goodbye, I hope for your next contents, greetings from Venezuela!


I'm really glad you are back. This platform begs for good people.

I agree with you entirely. We need to protect our rivers that give us so much. The Colorado provides drinking water to 40 million people. The Columbia/Snake provides power, transport and nearly incalculable fishery. The Missouri/Mississippi drains 45% of the US. We desperately need these rivers now and on into the future.

Thanks for a very valuable comment.


You are most welcome and thank you so much for your good support..

Wow excellent post, very instructive especially for those who do not know the history. The rivers were the main sources of food and shelter for man, and I loved knowing part of the history of this majestic and great Missouri River. In my country Venezuela, we have the Orinoco River, which is the largest and one of the most important in South America, possessing a rich fauna among which are the anacondas and large caimans. Thank you once again, I am a faithful believer that every day you learn something new and today I had to learn and know about the Missouri River and I thank you for it.


I am familiar with the Orinoco only through what I've read. Enough to know it is one of the great rivers of the world. But the rivers of the western US? Not just reading for those. I have been boots on the ground, butt in the water and in boats on all of them. There is nothing theoretical about these rivers for me. They are a part of my life.

Interesting, i have always been amazed by the architectural ideas and plans, their execution


Yes. There are bridges and dams on the river that are well over 100 years old.

Thanks for educational post ( sir or brother).


You are welcome.

beautiful click

Amazing bro !

This was pretty good, just found you, so I think I will start following.


This was pretty good,
Just found you, so I think I
Will start following.

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Thank you. Always welcome.

Thank you very much for sharing beautiful images and beautiful story to know more about culture my support and my regards my vote.

@adsactly I agree with and The Missouri River was one of the fundamental courses for the westbound extension of the United States amid the nineteenth century. The development of the hide exchange the mid nineteenth century laid a great part of the preparation as trappers investigated the district and pioneered trails @adsactly Pioneers traveled west all at once starting in the 1830s, first by secured wagon, at that point by the developing quantities of steamboats entering administration on the stream. Previous Native American grounds in the watershed were assumed control by pilgrims, prompting probably the most longstanding and fierce wars against indigenous people groups in American history @adsactly. Amid the twentieth century, the Missouri River bowl was widely produced for water system, surge control and the age of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams seize the principle stem of the stream, with hundreds more on tributaries. Winds have been sliced and the waterway channelized to enhance route, decreasing its length by right around 200 miles (320 km) from pre-advancement times. Despite the fact that the lower Missouri valley is presently a crowded and profoundly profitable horticultural and modern locale, overwhelming improvement has incurred significant damage on untamed life and fish populaces and water quality.
Finally I say that this is so great concept to provide in this platform @adsactly

This is my contribution @adsactly
And at first I say that the Missouri makes a twist toward the southeast as it twists through the Great Plains, accepting the Niobrara River and numerous littler tributaries from the southwest.@adsactly It at that point continues to shape the limit of South Dakota and Nebraska, at that point subsequent to being joined by the James River from the north, frames the Iowa– Nebraska limit. At Sioux City the Big Sioux River roll in from the north.

The Missouri streams south to the city of Omaha where it gets its longest tributary, the Platte River, from the west. Downstream, it starts to characterize the Nebraska– Missouri fringe, at that point streams amongst Missouri and Kansas.

The Missouri swings east at Kansas City, where the Kansas River enters from the west, et cetera into north-focal Missouri. Toward the east of Kansas City, the Missouri gets, on the left side, the Grand River. It passes south of Columbia and gets the Osage and Gasconade Rivers from the south downstream of Jefferson City @adsactly
So thats a great contribution..
So keep it up..

That's a very informative post and @adsactly sir this is part 3 done and
The Missouri River of today, now "subdued," is altogether different from the waterway preceding human impact. Today, the stream is partitioned into roughly three equivalent amounts of: the lower 33%, underneath Sioux City, Iowa is channelized ; 33% is seized by six expansive dams; and 33% comprises of leftover "free streaming" stretches of water. Just a single percent of the stream's whole length remains really uncontrolled by people.

In South Dakota, the Missouri River enters the state in the north-focal district close Pollock and streams by and large south. Close..

Pickstown, in south-focal South Dakota, the waterway turns southeast, streaming toward that path and framing a typical limit with the territory of Nebraska, until the point that it leaves South Dakota at the southeast corner close Jefferson. As it courses through South Dakota, the Missouri River is nourished by seven noteworthy tributary waterways and streams: the Grand, Moreau, Cheyenne, Bad, White, James, and Big Sioux streams..
We want this concept regularly @adsactly.

This is my contribution dear..
The Missouri River of the past was portrayed by six related living space writes, all critical for untamed life. Sand rise territory is vital for big-game creatures, earthbound winged animals, reptiles, and creatures of land and water. Cattail bogs gave living space to amphibian furbearers, waterfowl and other water and swamp flying creatures. Cottonwood-willow territory was utilized by big-game creatures and upland amusement feathered creatures.

Cottonwood-dogwood natural surroundings was occasionally essential to big game and earthbound winged creatures. The most develop environment (elm/oak) was additionally essential to an assortment of vast and little creatures and a large group of different occupant and transient fowls @adsactly.

The stream itself framed a 6th natural surroundings compose, home to a vast assortment of fish and other oceanic life. The blend of these territory composes framed a perplexing that gave bolstering, resting and reproducing territories for almost 160 types of natural life and more than 150 types of fish at one time @adsactly.

the Missouri River stayed unexplored and strange until Étienne de Veniard and Sieur de Bourgmont started to movement upstream, written work depictions in 1713 and 1714. Bourgmont was the first to utilize the name "Missouri" to allude to the stream and he and Étienne de Veniard would later build up the main stronghold on the Missouri River in 1723. Post Orleans was manufactured some place around the mouth of the Grand River close Brunswick, Missouri and was named for the Duke of Orléans @adsactly.

It is misty how far up the Missouri River Bourgmont voyaged, however he was additionally the primary European pioneer of the Platte River. The Spanish assumed control over the Missouri River in the 1763 Treaty of Paris that finished the French and Indian War. In any case, they didn't broadly investigate the stream and kept on permitting French hide brokers to work along the conduit.

The most huge endeavor before Lewis and Clark was the MacKay and Evans Expedition of 1795-1797. James MacKay and John Evans were procured by the Spanish to look through a course to the Pacific Ocean and to advise the British to leave the upper Missouri River zone. McKay and Evans made a point by point guide of the upper Missouri that would later be utilized by Lewis and Clark @adsactly.

Was waiting for this!


Very good posts, hopefully a successful brother is always in the esteem business

we love @adsactly Missouri river is quite beautiful

thanks for sharing river information


Glad to do so. You are welcome.

Good post... Nice Photography

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