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The KANSAS RIVER (also known as the KAW; via French Cansez from kką:ze, the name of the Kaw (or Kansas) tribe ) is a river in northeastern Kansas
Kansas
in the United States
United States
. It is the southwestern-most part of the Missouri River
Missouri River
drainage, which is in turn the northwestern-most portion of the extensive Mississippi River
River
drainage. Its name (and nickname) come from the Kanza (Kaw) people who once inhabited the area. The state of Kansas
Kansas
was named for the river.

The river valley averages 2.6 miles (4.2 km) in width, with the widest points being between Wamego and Rossville , where it is up to 4 miles (6.4 km) wide, then narrowing to 1 mile (1.6 km) or less in places below Eudora and De Soto . Much of the river's watershed is dammed for flood control, but the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
is generally free-flowing and has only minor obstructions, including diversion weirs and one low-impact hydroelectric dam.

CONTENTS

* 1 Course * 2 Drainage * 3 Geology * 4 History * 5 Recreation

* 6 River
River
modifications

* 6.1 On the river * 6.2 Within the watershed

* 7 In popular culture

* 8 Places and locations along the river

* 8.1 Counties * 8.2 Cities and towns * 8.3 Tributaries

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

COURSE

Beginning at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers, just east of aptly named Junction City (1,040 feet or 320 metres), the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
flows some 148 miles (238 km) generally eastward to join the Missouri River
Missouri River
at Kaw Point (718 feet or 219 metres) in Kansas City . Dropping 322 feet (98 m) on its journey seaward, the water in the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
falls less than 2 feet per mile (38 cm/km). The Kansas
Kansas
River
River
valley is only 115 miles (185 km) long; the surplus length of the river is due to meandering across the floodplain . The river's course roughly follows the maximum extent of a Pre-Illinoian glaciation, and the river likely began as a path of glacial meltwater drainage.

DRAINAGE

The Kansas
Kansas
River
River
at Lawrence showing Bowersock Dam and the U.S. 40 and 59 Bridges At low level At flood stage

The Kansas
Kansas
drains 34,423 square miles (89,160 km2) of land in Kansas (almost all of the northern half), along with 16,916 square miles (43,810 km2) in Nebraska
Nebraska
and 8,775 square miles (22,730 km2) in Colorado
Colorado
, making a total of just over 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2). When including the Republican River and its headwater tributaries, the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
system has a length of 743 miles (1,196 km), making it the 21st longest river system in the United States. Its highest headwaters are at about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and extend nearly to Limon, Colorado
Colorado
. Much of the drainage of the river lies within the Great Plains , but the river itself exists entirely within the Mid Continent Region . The majority of the rest of the state is drained by the Arkansas
Arkansas
(and its tributaries, the Neosho , Cimarron , and Verdigris , all three of which drain into the Arkansas
Arkansas
in Oklahoma ). A portion of central-eastern Kansas
Kansas
is drained by the Marais des Cygnes River
River
, which flows into Missouri
Missouri
to meet the Missouri
Missouri
River. A small area in the extreme northeast part of the state drains directly into the Missouri. In the Kansas
Kansas
City metro area, some streams drain east into the Blue River
River
tributary of the Missouri.

Because of the river's shallow depth, slow drainage, high silt contents, and proximity to industrial centers, the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
was ranked as the 21st most polluted water body in the United States
United States
in 1996.

GEOLOGY

The Kansas
Kansas
River
River
flows through what is known as the Stable Interior region. Since this region is near the center of the North American Plate , it has not experienced any extensive geologic faulting , folding , or mountain building in recent geologic time . The river flows through limestone and shale strata that, except for diagenesis , remain largely undisturbed since deposition beneath the Western Interior Seaway . The age of the rock exposed by the river becomes progressively older as the river moves downstream for two main reasons. First, downstream areas experience more erosion from increased flow, and second because the slight uplift of the Ozark dome to the southeast caused the strata in Kansas
Kansas
to dip very slightly to the west.

All of the rocks in the area are sedimentary , ranging from Late Pennsylvanian (300 million years ago) to recent, with three minor exceptions. The first is sand and gravel brought down from the Rocky Mountains which have settled in the western extents of the Kansas River
River
basin. Second, the retreat of the Kansan glaciation left behind a combination of ice- and meltwater-deposited sediments known as drifta, a poorly sorted mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and even large boulders that cover parts of the extreme eastern portion of the Kansas River
River
basin. The third is loess , a fine silt that may have originally been deposited by the melting water of the receding glaciers, then redeposited by the wind. The thickest loess deposits can be found in the northwest and north-central part of the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
basin from southern Nebraska
Nebraska
into northwest Kansas, as well as near the river's mouth.

HISTORY

The Kansas
Kansas
River
River
in confluence with the Missouri
Missouri
in Kansas
Kansas
City, Kansas
Kansas
with Kansas
Kansas
City, Missouri
Missouri
in the background.

The first map showing the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
is French cartographer Guillaume de L\'Isle 's "Carte de la Louisiane," which was drawn about 1718. On it the "Petite Riv des Cansez" flows into the Missouri
Missouri
River at about the 40th parallel . This map, with virtually no changes except for the translation of French into English, was subsequently published by John Senex, a London
London
cartographer and engraver, in 1721.

The canoes used by Native Americans , and the pirogues used by French fur traders , had a negligible draft and easily navigated the river at any water level.

From June 26 through 29, 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
camped at Kaw Point at the river's mouth. They praised the scenery in their accounts and noted the area would be a good location for a fort.

In August 1819, Maj. Stephen H. Long steered the first steamer into the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
with his 30-ton boat Western Engineer. He made it scarcely a mile up the river before turning back, citing mud bars from the recent floods.

The mouth of the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
in the West Bottoms area of Kansas
Kansas
City (at a longitude of 94 degrees 36 minutes West) was the basis for Missouri's western boundary from Iowa
Iowa
to Arkansas
Arkansas
when it became a state in 1821. ( Kansas
Kansas
entered the Union in 1861.) South of the Missouri
Missouri
River, that longitude still remains the boundary between Kansas
Kansas
and Missouri. North of the Missouri
Missouri
River, the state of Missouri
Missouri
extended its boundary further to the west in 1836 with the Platte Purchase
Platte Purchase
. The river has moved slightly since this designation, but the state boundary has remained the same. This line is known as the Osage Boundary.

From the 1840s through the early 1870s, the southern ridgelines of the lower section of the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
were the beginnings of the Oregon , California , and Santa Fe trails as they left Kansas
Kansas
City.

Beginning in 1854, steamboats operated regularly from Kansas
Kansas
City to Lawrence and Topeka, and sometimes as far as Fort Riley . This traffic continued through the territorial period and the early years of statehood, falling off rapidly about 1860. The last steamer to travel the Kansas
Kansas
was the Alexander Majors, which was chartered in 1866 to run between Kansas
Kansas
City and Lawrence until the railroad bridge at the mouth of the river, which had been destroyed by floods, could be rebuilt. This traffic into statehood gave the Kansas
Kansas
legal status as a navigable stream in the eyes of the Federal government. In the 1860s, the country's goods were increasingly transported by the extensive and comparatively efficient railroad system.

On February 25, 1864, the state legislature declared the Kansas
Kansas
River nonnavigable, allowing railroad and bridge companies to build bridges and dams without restriction. This law remained in effect until 1913, when, after it had been characterized as "a crime against the public welfare of Kansas", it was finally repealed and the river's status was restored to a navigable stream. The status has not since changed, though modern commercial navigation on the river is largely confined to dredging .

RECREATION

Recreation along the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
includes fishing , canoeing and kayaking , and rowing . There are 18 public access points along the river. The Friends of the Kaw organizes many float trips down the river each year (as well as cleanup efforts), and the Lawrence KOA rents canoes for self-guided trips. At least two rowing teams regularly use the river: The University of Kansas
Kansas
rowing team uses the pool above the Bowersock Dam for their training, and the Kansas
Kansas
City Boat Club as well as University of Missouri- Kansas
Kansas
City rows in the final stretches of the river, near its mouth and the connection to the Missouri
Missouri
river.

RIVER MODIFICATIONS

ON THE RIVER

* KANSAS CITY: A few yards downstream from the I-435 bridge, a weir diverts water to an intake for WaterOne. Portage access is on the left bank. * LAWRENCE: Bowersock Dam is the largest obstruction on the river. It serves not only to create a standing pool for one of Lawrence's municipal water intakes (the other is at Clinton Lake ), but also to create a head for the Bowersock Mills & Power Company. At this site, the Bowersock Mills -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ A B U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kansas
Kansas
River * ^ " Kansas
Kansas
Historical Quarterly – A Review of Early Navigation on the Kansas
Kansas
River
River
Kansas
Kansas
Historical Society". Kshs.org. Retrieved 2012-08-15. . The Encyclopedia of Kansas
Kansas
(1994) ISBN 0-403-09921-8 Connelley, William E. 1918. Indians Archived 2007-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
.. A Standard History of Kansas
Kansas
and Kansans, ch. 10, vol. 1 * ^ " Kansas
Kansas
history page". Retrieved 2006-11-28. * ^ The Encyclopedia of Kansas
Kansas
(1994) ISBN 0-403-09921-8 * ^ A B U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite , accessed May 31, 2011 * ^ environmental news service * ^ A B KGS- Kansas
Kansas
River
River
Corridor-Geology * ^ Lengths of major rivers * ^ Savitz, Jacqueline D.; Campbell, Christopher; Wiles, Richard; Hartmann, Carolyn (September 1996). "Dishonorable Discharge: Toxic Pollution of America\'s Waters" (PDF). EWG.org. Environmental Working Group . p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2015-04-20. * ^ A Review of Early Navigation on the Kansas
Kansas
River, Kans