The Mississippi River is one of the world’s largest and most diverse river systems. It is also the third longest river in North America. Going further The Mississippi River watershed is the fourth largest in the world. It extends from the Allegheny Mountains in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. Measuring approximately 1.2 million square miles (3.2 million sq kms), the watershed covers all 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
Horace Mitchell at NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio created a beautiful map that will allow you to finally understand the scale and geographic scope of that phenomena. The visualization is based on the USGS database of this area that indicates the direction of waterflow at each point. By assembling these directions into streamflows, Horace traced the path of water from every point of the area to the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico.
Really cool project.