Probing the depths of the Big Muddy: What does the bed of the Missouri River look like?
Published: October 13, 2015
Presentation by Caroline Elliott, USGS River Studies Branch
Original Presentation, October 13, 2015 at Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro, Rocheport, MO.
Second Presentation, November 18, 2015 at Big A’s Restaurant, St. Charles, MO.
The Big Muddy is deep and mysterious. One can’t just look down and see what is on the bottom the way you can in a clear Ozark stream. Scientists from the USGS at CERC have developed a variety of tools to see through the murky river and watch what is happening on the bottom. They use precise measurements to watch and record the migration of sand dunes, and see details like rocky outcrops and large trees on the bottom of the river. Through the use of sonar they image fish like the pallid sturgeon as they swim upstream and even spot them spawning in fast deep areas near the bottom of the river.
USGS Geologist Caroline Elliott shared what she’s learned about the hidden world of the bottom of the Missouri River, and displayed images of this murky and shifting environment.
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Resources & Links
Dig deeper for more info on this topic.
- “River of Sand” – animated GIF of the bed flow of the Missouri River by Carrie Elliott.
- RADIO – “Missouri Researchers Study New Ways Farmers Can Fight Water Pollution” – Sept. 2016 – KCUR 89.3
- BLOG – Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project – a fascinating look at the work of CERC scientists to learn about the pallid sturgeon.
- Columbia Environmental Research Center – Missouri River Science
- VIDEO – Interview with Caroline Elliott about her work and the bottom of the Missouri River.
- RESEARCH – River Corridor Habitat Dynamics, USGS
- RESEARCH – “Ecological requirements for pallid sturgeon reproduction and recruitment in the Missouri River—A synthesis of science, 2005 to 2012”
- RESEARCH – “Development of a Channel Classification to Evaluate Potential for Cottonwood Restoration, Lower Segments of the Middle Missouri River”
- RESEARCH – “Geomorphic Classification and Assessment of Channel Dynamics in the Missouri National Recreational River, South Dakota and Nebraska”.
The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport
is hosted by these wonderful partners.
Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»
Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!
The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.
The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Columbia Ecological Services Field Office (USFWS) and the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.
Saint Charles Resources and Links
The Big Muddy Speakers Series in St. Charles
is hosted by these wonderful partners:
All speakers are presenting for free and Big A’s is sharing the space for free! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!
The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Rocheport and Kansas City.
A special thank you to Greg Poleski of Greenway Network and Mike Clark of Big Muddy Adventures for making this happen!