Alabama River
Overview
 
The Alabama River, in the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, is formed by the Tallapoosa
Tallapoosa River
The Tallapoosa River runs from the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, in the United States, southward and westward into Alabama. It is formed by the confluence of McClendon Creek and Mud Creek in Paulding County, Georgia. Lake Martin at Alexander City, Alabama is a large and...

 and Coosa
Coosa River
The Coosa River is a tributary of the Alabama River in the U.S. states of Alabama and Georgia. The river is about long altogether.The Coosa River is one of Alabama's most developed rivers...

 rivers, which unite about 6 miles (10 km) north of Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

.

The river flows west to Selma
Selma, Alabama
Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, Alabama, United States, located on the banks of the Alabama River. The population was 20,512 at the 2000 census....

, then southwest until, about 45 miles (72.4 km) from Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, it unites with the Tombigbee
Tombigbee River
The Tombigbee River is a tributary of the Mobile River, approximately 200 mi long, in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Alabama. It is one of two major rivers, along with the Alabama River, that unite to form the short Mobile River before it empties into Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico...

, forming the Mobile
Mobile River
The Mobile River is located in southern Alabama in the United States. Formed out of the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers, the approximately river drains an area of of Alabama, with a watershed extending into Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Its drainage basin is the...

 and Tensaw
Tensaw River
The Tensaw River is a distributary of the Mobile River, approximately 36 mi long, in southern Alabama in the United States. It is formed as a bayou of the Mobile approximately 6 mi south of the formation of the Mobile by the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers...

 rivers, which discharge into Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the...

.

The course of the Alabama is very meandering. Its width varies from 50 to 200 yd (45.7 to 182.9 ), and its depth from 3 to 40 ft (0.9144 to 12.2 ).
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The Alabama River, in the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 state of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, is formed by the Tallapoosa
Tallapoosa River
The Tallapoosa River runs from the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, in the United States, southward and westward into Alabama. It is formed by the confluence of McClendon Creek and Mud Creek in Paulding County, Georgia. Lake Martin at Alexander City, Alabama is a large and...

 and Coosa
Coosa River
The Coosa River is a tributary of the Alabama River in the U.S. states of Alabama and Georgia. The river is about long altogether.The Coosa River is one of Alabama's most developed rivers...

 rivers, which unite about 6 miles (10 km) north of Montgomery
Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is the county seat of Montgomery County. It is located on the Alabama River southeast of the center of the state, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2010 census, Montgomery had a population of 205,764 making it the second-largest city...

.

The river flows west to Selma
Selma, Alabama
Selma is a city in and the county seat of Dallas County, Alabama, United States, located on the banks of the Alabama River. The population was 20,512 at the 2000 census....

, then southwest until, about 45 miles (72.4 km) from Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, it unites with the Tombigbee
Tombigbee River
The Tombigbee River is a tributary of the Mobile River, approximately 200 mi long, in the U.S. states of Mississippi and Alabama. It is one of two major rivers, along with the Alabama River, that unite to form the short Mobile River before it empties into Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico...

, forming the Mobile
Mobile River
The Mobile River is located in southern Alabama in the United States. Formed out of the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers, the approximately river drains an area of of Alabama, with a watershed extending into Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Its drainage basin is the...

 and Tensaw
Tensaw River
The Tensaw River is a distributary of the Mobile River, approximately 36 mi long, in southern Alabama in the United States. It is formed as a bayou of the Mobile approximately 6 mi south of the formation of the Mobile by the confluence of the Tombigbee and Alabama rivers...

 rivers, which discharge into Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay
Mobile Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, lying within the state of Alabama in the United States. Its mouth is formed by the Fort Morgan Peninsula on the eastern side and Dauphin Island, a barrier island on the western side. The Mobile River and Tensaw River empty into the northern end of the...

.

The course of the Alabama is very meandering. Its width varies from 50 to 200 yd (45.7 to 182.9 ), and its depth from 3 to 40 ft (0.9144 to 12.2 ). Its length as measured by the United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology,...

 is 318.5 miles (512.6 km), and by steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

 measurement, 420 miles (675.9 km).

The river crosses the richest agricultural and timber districts of the state. Railways connect it with the mineral regions of north-central Alabama.

After the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, the principal tributary of the Alabama is the Cahaba River
Cahaba River
The Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama and is among the most scenic and biologically diverse rivers in the United States. The Cahaba River is a major tributary of the Alabama River and part of the larger Mobile River Basin...

, which is about 194 miles (312.2 km) long and joins the Alabama River about 10 miles (16.1 km) below Selma. The Alabama River's main tributary, the Coosa River, crosses the mineral region of Alabama and is navigable for light-draft boats from Rome, Georgia
Rome, Georgia
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome is the largest city and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. It is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Floyd County...

, to about 117 miles (188.3 km) above Wetumpka
Wetumpka, Alabama
Wetumpka is a city in Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 5,726.The city is the county seat of Elmore County, one of the fastest growing counties in the state....

 (about 102 miles (164.2 km) below Rome and 26 miles (41.8 km) below Greensport), and from Wetumpka to its junction with the Tallapoosa. The channel of the river has been considerably improved by the federal government.

The navigation of the Tallapoosa River –- which has its source in Paulding County, Georgia
Paulding County, Georgia
Paulding County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 142,324. The county seat is Dallas....

, and is about 265 miles (426.5 km) long -– is prevented by shoal
Shoal
Shoal, shoals or shoaling may mean:* Shoal, a sandbank or reef creating shallow water, especially where it forms a hazard to shipping* Shoal draught , of a boat with shallow draught which can pass over some shoals: see Draft...

s and a 60 feet (18.3 m) fall at Tallassee
Tallassee, Alabama
Tallassee is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2000 census the population was 4,934...

, a few miles north of its junction with the Coosa. The Alabama is navigable throughout the year.

The river played an important role in the growth of the economy in the region during the 19th century as a source of transportation of goods. The river is still used for transportation of farming produce; however, it is not as important as it once was due to the construction of roads and railways.

The Alabama, Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers were central to the homeland of the Creek Indians
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

 before their removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 by United States forces to the Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

in the 1830s.

External links

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