Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River is one of several rivers with that name. It rises in two branches in the Texas Panhandle and flows along the border of Texas and Oklahoma and Texas and Arkansas. At Fulton, Arkansas, the Red turns south into Louisiana where it empties into the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers after 1,360 miles. The river gains its name from the red-clay farmland it waters. The Red River is dammed by the Denison Dam (est. 1943) to form Lake Texoma, a very large reservoir (89,000 surface acres), some 70 miles north of Dallas. Other reservoirs serve as flood-control on the river's tributaries.
Much of the river's length in Louisiana was unnavigable in the early Nineteenth Century due to a collection of fallen trees that formed a "Great Raft" over 160 miles long (257 km). Captain Henry Miller Shreve cleared the jam in 1839, and now the river is navigable for small craft north of Natchitoches, Louisiana.
See also the Red River disambiguation page.
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