Mississippi River Basin Soil Moisture for January 1985 - 1999

As soil moisture is linked to the available water entering the system it is not surprising to see a divide between east and western sides of the basin. The Mississippi is fed by 2 main tributaries, the Ohio River draining the east provides the majority of the water volume and the Missouri River draining from the west carries a large sediment load. This is reflected in the soil moisture where the western areas consistently appear dryer than the eastern areas. There is also a seasonal difference with the autumn/winter period from November to March showing the highest soil moisture, which coincides with cooler temperature and lower evaporation. During the summer period of June to September there is a decline in soil moisture content. October is a mixed picture as there is a progression across the basin connects to a change in the season.

Soil moisture legend as percentages

Soil moisture legend as percentages

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Mississippi Land Maps