Over the last 70 years, the Mississippi River has been subject to the systematic emplacement of engineered structures along its mainstem and tributaries. Many of the structures were developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) in an attempt to protect society, its resources, and to maintain navigation along the river. The USACOE structural approach to flood control has led to the development of an expansive 12m (36 ft) high levee system and many artificial meander cut-offs. The meander cut-offs were designed to expedite the transfer of flood peaks through many reaches of the Lower Mississippi River (LMR). Navigation structures include a 2.7m (9 ft) navigable channel, which has been supported by rip-rap and revetment to stabilize the location of the channel, as well as the construction of wing-dams to trap sediment, thereby reducing aggradation in the navigation channel. Furthermore, 28 locks and dams were developed on the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) to maintain the 2.7m water draught and permit ships to move over nick points. While these engineering marvels accomplished what they were designed for, they have led to a metamorphosis of the ?natural? channel morphology and the dynamic flow regime of the Mississippi River.

We were interested in examining the effects of the systematic emplacement of structures (~1930-1970) on the periodicity and stage hydrology of the Mississippi River.

We collected data from a number of gauges throughout the river's length.

An ephemeral island on the Mississippi River. We are examining community assembly following flooding disturbance and stress along the disturbance gradient of these islands. Click HERE for more.
The floodplain of the Mississippi River has been meandering for centuries, but recently has been constricted and manipulated by human modifications. The implications for the floodplain are not known.

Publications from this research:

Kaufeld, K. J. Moore & S.B. Franklin. In PREP. Community shifts along a disturbance gradient. Check out our ESA 2013 -PPT POSTER.

Moore, J.E. &S.B. Franklin. 2012. Water stres interacts with early arrival to influence interspecific and intraspecific priority competition: a test using a greenhouse study. Journal of Vegetation Science 23:647-656. PDF

Moore, J.E., S.B. Franklin, D. Larsen & J.W. Grubaugh. 2011. Short-term Assessment of Morphological Change on Five Lower Mississippi River Islands. Southeastern Naturalist 10: 459-476. PDF

Moore, J.E., S.B. Franklin & J.W. Grubaugh. 2011. Herbaceous plant community responses to fluctuations in hydrology: Using Mississippi River islands as models for plant community assembly. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 138:175-189. PDF

Moore, J.E. and S.B. Franklin. 2011. Understanding the relative roles of disturbance and species interactions in shaping Mississippi River island plant communities. Community Ecology12:108-116. PDF

Greulich, Sabine, Scott Franklin, Thad Wasklewicz and Jack Grubaugh. 2007. Hydrogeomorphology and forest composition of Sunrise Island in the lower Mississippi River. Southeastern Naturalist 6: 217-234.

Wasklewicz, Thad A., Scott B. Franklin & Jack W. Grubaugh. 2005. Assessing the potential use of rehabilitation along the Upper Mississippi River as a model for the Lower Mississippi River . Pp. 1-15 In: Buijse, A.D., F. Klijn, R.S.E.W. Leuven, H. Middelkoop, F. Schiemer, J.H. Thorp & H.P. Wolfert (eds.), Rehabilitating large regulated rivers. Archiv fuer Hydrobiologie Supplement 155 (Large Rivers 15). E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart. 738 pp.

Wasklewicz, Thad A., Sabine Greulich, Scott B. Franklin & Jack W. Grubaugh. 2004. The 20 th Century Hydrologic Regime of the Mississippi River . Physical Geography 25:208-224. PDF

Franklin, Scott B., Thad Wasklewicz, Jack W. Grubaugh & Sabine Gruelich. 2003. Temporal periodicity of the Mississippi River before and after systematic channel modifications. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 39:637-648. PDF

Wasklewicz, Thad, Scott Franklin, Sabine Greulich & Jack Grubaugh. 2001. Changes in the hydrologic periodicity of the Mississippi River, USA. Pp. 53-61 In: R.A. Falconer & W.R. Blain (eds.) River Basin Management, WITpress, Southampton, Boston.

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