Big River Study Report



In 2006, the MWMO developed plans to better achieve its responsibility for monitoring water quality in the Mississippi River. The MWMO is implementing a Monitoring Program that includes the mainstem of the Mississippi River as well as stormwater outfalls. The goal of the program is to establish baseline water quantity and quality data that can be used for the management of outfalls and receiving waters. For an accurate assessment of these systems, the MWMO will need to know where, how, and when to sample the Mississippi River, given the patterns of hydraulic mixing that occur in the river as it passes through the watershed.

The purpose of this report is to provide the MWMO with the information necessary to develop new monitoring protocols that will measure progress toward the above goals, given the findings (or gaps) in the hydraulic and pollutant mixing literature. The reporting process began with an extensive literature review on the topics of hydraulic mixing in large river systems and monitoring protocols appropriate for large river systems. This report includes an annotated bibliography summarizing the literature review, an assessment of mixing processes in big rivers and the big river characteristics that affect mixing, a delineation of the hydraulic mixing reaches of the Mississippi River within the MWMO area, and a description of the big river characteristics that influence mixing in each reach. In addition, this report discusses the components of a thorough monitoring protocol, summarizes the activities of other monitoring agencies within the MWMO area, and discusses various monitoring protocols that may achieve the monitoring goals of the MWMO. The Big River Study should support the MWMO in its plan to revamp its Water Management Plan.


Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc.
Sue Magdalene, St. Croix Watershed Research Station

Suggested Citation

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization. 2008. Big River Study Report. 165 pp.

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