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View Full Version : how can i find the width of the Mississippi river a specific point?

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 03:23 PM
The specific point is between Memphis, Tenneessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas. I'm making my way through Google hits at the moment, but if anyone has a better source I'd be glad to know it.

gazpacho
05-23-2007, 03:25 PM
Use google earth in satellite view mode and use the measurement tool.

Shagnasty
05-23-2007, 03:42 PM
Go to that point. Take a very long piece of string and have a friend hold one end. Swim across with the string. Watch out because the Mississippi River has deadly current and large ships in parts. Measure the string once you get to the other side.

Mr. Moto
05-23-2007, 03:48 PM
Back in the day we'd use a nautical chart and a pair of dividers.

You whippersnappers don't know how easy you have it.

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 03:53 PM
Go to that point. Take a very long piece of string and have a friend hold one end. Swim across with the string. Watch out because the Mississippi River has deadly current and large ships in parts. Measure the string once you get to the other side.

:: releasing the winged, flame-breathing, etc. monkeys with orders to bring me Shagnasty's left kidney ::

UncleRojelio
05-23-2007, 04:00 PM
1) Measure the height of a tree on the bank.
2) http://www.jimloy.com/geometry/tree0.htm
3) Hi Opal!

DudleyGarrett
05-23-2007, 04:01 PM
The specific point is between Memphis, Tenneessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas. I'm making my way through Google hits at the moment, but if anyone has a better source I'd be glad to know it.

I was just there, standing in Tom Lee Park, right on the edge of the river. If a best guess would suffice, I'd say it was about a thousand feet across.

PoorYorick
05-23-2007, 04:35 PM
1) Measure the height of a tree on the bank.
2) http://www.jimloy.com/geometry/tree0.htm
3) Hi Opal!
Kind of the same thing from a probably apocryphal story: One of Napolean's engineers was tasked to build a bridge over a river, and the first thing he had to know was how wide the river was. As he stood on the bank looking toward the other side, he lowered his cap's bill until he could just see the far bank and nothing above it. He turned about face with the cap still lowered until he found a land mark just under his bill (if you know what I mean), and measured the distance to that. That was the width of the river.

Or you could just ask someone who lives around there.

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 04:42 PM
Kind of the same thing from a probably apocryphal story: One of Napolean's engineers was tasked to build a bridge over a river, and the first thing he had to know was how wide the river was. As he stood on the bank looking toward the other side, he lowered his cap's bill until he could just see the far bank and nothing above it. He turned about face with the cap still lowered until he found a land mark just under his bill (if you know what I mean), and measured the distance to that. That was the width of the river.

Or you could just ask someone who lives around there.

I AM someone who lives around there.

Shamozzle
05-23-2007, 04:44 PM
As above, Google Earth. You do have GE on your computer, right?

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 04:47 PM
As above, Google Earth. You do have GE on your computer, right?

Nope. My computer has suffered a catastrophic, water-related breakdown, obliging me to use the Public Library's computers, which I cannot download onto.

gazpacho
05-23-2007, 04:51 PM
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

Shamozzle
05-23-2007, 04:58 PM
Nope. My computer has suffered a catastrophic, water-related breakdown, obliging me to use the Public Library's computers, which I cannot download onto.Ah. That's too bad.

Since you're in a library, do you have access to any decent, perhaps local maps?

Giles
05-23-2007, 05:03 PM
I've just gone to Google Maps, and the Mississippi River seems to vary considerably in width around Memphis. The narrowest part seems tobe where Interstate 55 and some railway lines cross on 4 parallel bridges, each of which looks to go about 3,000 feet from bank to bank.

DudleyGarrett
05-23-2007, 05:05 PM
I've just gone to Google Maps, and the Mississippi River seems to vary considerably in width around Memphis. The narrowest part seems tobe where Interstate 55 and some railway lines cross on 4 parallel bridges, each of which looks to go about 3,000 feet from bank to bank.

I was WAY off! Maybe it was those Call-A-Cabs from Wet Willie's distorting my depth perception.

Antonius Block
05-23-2007, 05:05 PM
At the point where the Harahan and Frisco rail bridges -- and the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge carrying I-55 -- cross the Mississippi, it's almost exactly 2000 ft wide (according to Google Earth). This looks to be the narrowest point in the Memphis area.

ETA: Giles, there are three bridges -- the "fourth" one is a shadow (note that it doesn't line up with anything on land).

tomndebb
05-23-2007, 05:25 PM
Back in the day we'd use a nautical chart and a pair of dividers.

You whippersnappers don't know how easy you have it.Actually, given that Skald has mentioned the use of the library, this might work pretty well.

Check the library for navigation charts (you may also be able to buy them at your local regional Federal Building (or online (http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/gis/navbook/main.html)), but I am assuming that the desire will not brook cost or delivery delays.

If your local library is lacking charts, a local college library should have them. Bring a ruler and measure it.

RedSwinglineOne
05-23-2007, 05:34 PM
how can i find the width of the Mississippi river a specific point?
It can be done very easily using a barometer. Ok, get yourself a barometer and some string... (http://www.snopes.com/college/exam/barometer.asp)
;)

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 05:41 PM
Actually, given that Skald has mentioned the use of the library, this might work pretty well.

Check the library for navigation charts (you may also be able to buy them at your local regional Federal Building (or online (http://www.mvd.usace.army.mil/gis/navbook/main.html)), but I am assuming that the desire will not brook cost or delivery delays.

If your local library is lacking charts, a local college library should have them. Bring a ruler and measure it.

Unfortunately I'm at a branch library, not the main one, where, I am told, such things are to be found. I'll check that out Saturday.

NinetyWt
05-23-2007, 06:04 PM
You can go to TopoZone (www.topozone.com) and try to estimate it. Or, ya know, tell one of us who has GE where the point is.

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 06:16 PM
You can go to TopoZone (www.topozone.com) and try to estimate it. Or, ya know, tell one of us who has GE where the point is.

Between Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas.

It's a fairly minor thing. I've decided to assume it's about the same as the span of the bridge crossing the river at that point.

gazpacho
05-23-2007, 06:24 PM
Between Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas.

It's a fairly minor thing. I've decided to assume it's about the same as the span of the bridge crossing the river at that point.There are two bridges one for I55 and one for I 40.

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ shows the I55 bridge as .4133 Miles or 2182 feet. Pretty close to the 2000 feet mentioned above. I will note that this bridge seems to be about the narrowest point of the river in that region.

05-23-2007, 06:29 PM
At our public library they have these real big flat things, with drawings of actual places, and little markings for distance.

Maps, I think they call them. Sometimes they have whole books full of them. Atlases, I think.

Tris

Skald the Rhymer
05-23-2007, 06:32 PM
At our public library they have these real big flat things, with drawings of actual places, and little markings for distance.

Maps, I think they call them. Sometimes they have whole books full of them. Atlases, I think.

Tris

Were I at the Central Branch on Poplar I would avail myself of such. Being at a pathetic little branch I am not able to so. Anywhistle, I've decided to be less neurotic, guess that it's 1000 feet or so, and forget it.

Darryl Lict
05-23-2007, 09:13 PM
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

Thanks for that link. That is very cool.

On preview, whoops, like that other guy said.

I get 0.4121 miles or 2175 feet over the I55.

ExTank
05-23-2007, 10:51 PM
Back in the day we'd use a nautical chart and a pair of dividers.

You whippersnappers don't know how easy you have it.

Hah! Who're you calling a whippersnapper? Back in the real day, we'd get a strong swimmer and a really big tape measure!

Young'uns, with their fancy "maps" and tools. Meh.

NinetyWt
05-24-2007, 03:04 AM
guess that it's 1000 feet or so, . A better guess is 2000 ft. BTW you never asked what width you wanted ... average daily flow? mean annual flow? 2-year flow? 100-year flow ??

:P

BTW ExTank nice ta see ya :)

Mangetout
05-24-2007, 03:17 AM
Go to that point. Take a very long piece of string and have a friend hold one end. Swim across with the string. Watch out because the Mississippi River has deadly current and large ships in parts. Measure the string once you get to the other side.Not a very sensible suggestion, you should be ashamed.
Much better to start with the string already across the river, and have your friend pull you in as you swim toward him.

DistendedPendulousFrenulum
05-24-2007, 09:21 PM
[QUOTE=NinetyWt]A better guess is 2000 ft. BTW you never asked what width you wanted ... average daily flow? mean annual flow? 2-year flow? 100-year flow ??

:P

I seen it from Mud Island. It are big. Looks like two miles to me.

Polycarp
05-24-2007, 10:26 PM
At our public library they have these real big flat things, with drawings of actual places, and little markings for distance.

Maps, I think they call them. Sometimes they have whole books full of them. Atlases, I think.

Tris

John Galt Shrugged, by Ayn McNally ;)

Garfield226
05-25-2007, 01:22 AM
A better guess is 2000 ft. BTW you never asked what width you wanted ... average daily flow? mean annual flow? 2-year flow? 100-year flow ??
I was wondering for the whole thread...having just been in St. Louis when the river rose near flood stage, it added a good amount on to the width on the Missouri bank at least.

An Arky
05-25-2007, 06:36 AM
You could drive across the bridge and zero out your trip odometer as you pass the bank of origin and note the mileage when you reach the other bank.

Being from Memphis, I'm sure you're aware that the width of the big muddy varies a good deal depending on how much rain there's been upstream, meaning not only up the Mississippi but also the Missouri and Ohio Rivers' drainages, among others.