Channel changes in the Mississippi river near the Old River Control Structure, Louisiana,
from 1000 A.D. to 2000 A.D., featuring the video "Goodbye Louisiana."
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Chronology of Mississippi River Geomorphology, 1000 A.D. to 2000 A.D.
1000: The Red River runs parallel to the Mississippi River as it heads itself in a general southern
toward the Gulf of Mexico.
1400: The Mississippi River moves westward with a meander belt, intercepting the Red River
and creating the Turnbull Bend.
The Red River becomes a tributary of the Mississipi River, and the lower reach, later named the Atchafalaya,
becomes a distributary of the Mississippi.
1831: Henry Shreve accomplishes the cut-off of the Mississippi River, effectively converting the land
Turnbull Bend into
1950: The Upper Old River gradually dries out and becomes a remnant channel.
The Lower Old River now provides the West-East link between the Red-Atchafalaya to the West and the Mississippi to the East.
The flow switches direction seasonally.
1951: The large log jam at the entrance to the Atchafalaya is removed. The resulting effect is the widening and deepening of
the Atchafalaya river channel, increasingly drawing flow from the Mississippi river.
1963: The Navigation Channel (Lock and Dam) and Old River Closure are completed.
1964: The Low Sill Structure, located on a specially dug Outflow Channel, and the
adjacent Overbank Flow Structure are completed.
The Low Sill Structure is named "Old River Control Structure," or ORCS.
1986: The Auxiliary Old River Control Structure is completed (AORCS). This structure is designed to provide additional security for flow control.
1990: A Hydropower Plant is completed in a dug-out channel located near the ORCS.