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The Mississippi
Cohasset
Wisconsin Delta
False River
Marmande Ridge

The Mississippi Headwaters and the Lower River are meandering streams that shave sediment of their inside bends and deposits it on their outside bends, forming point bars and moving the bank downstream.

At Cohasset you can see both the inside bends and the point bar, its outside bend. That is the beauty of the Headwaters, they mimic the Lower River but at an observable scale.

The Upper Mississippi flows through a canyon, hemmed between high bluffs. When its fast-moving tributaries, like the Wisconsin, meet the slow-moving Mississippi, they deposit their sediment in the river, forming a delta made up of C-shaped islands. The river shaves sediment off the head of the islands and deposits it at the base of the C, pushing the island downstream.

Occasionally, the neck of the point bar can become so narrow that the Lower Mississippi can erode and channel across it. Evenually clay will plug the channel, creating a lake, like False River, whose shores boost some very valueable real estate in New Roads, Louisiana.

When the fast-moving Lower Mississippi meets the still Gulf of Mexico, it deposit its sediment in the gulf, forming a delta. Distributaries, like Minor's Canal in the Terrebonne Delta Lobe, build a natural levee as floods wash sediment over the bank, forming a ridge. Freshwater vegetation takes root.

To see more images of the Mississippi go to: mississippiriverphotographs.com.