Before 1800, the Missouri River was one of North America's most diverse and dynamic ecosystems.
During the past 200 years, civil engineering has transformed it into a navigation system regulated by reservoirs and confined by bank stabilization and flood control structures. These modifications have reduced seasonal flow variability and sediment load and have disconnected the river from backwater, off-channel, and floodplain habitats.
Flooding along the Lower Missouri River in 1993 and again in 1996 created a side-channel chute across Lisbon Bottom, a well-formed loop bottom near Glasgow, Mo.
The formation and subsequent development of the chute have provided USGS scientists with a glimpse of a preregulated Missouri River.
Knowledge of geologic characteristics and processes in an alluvial setting like Lisbon Bottom provides a scientific basis for floodplain management. This knowledge is also vital to a complete understanding of riverine habitat disturbance, recovery, and rehabilitation.
A critical component of this knowledge is an understanding of the spatial and temporal relationships between riverine habitats and geomorphic processes.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The Evolution of the Lower Missouri River: National Mapping Discipline Research at Lisbon Bottom