Lock & Dam 1
—Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail —
Located on Red River 11 miles upstream from Marksville, Lock & Dam #1 is the first of five locks used to manage transportation from Shreveport to the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers.
The Red River is 1,360 miles long and originates in the states of Texas and Oklahoma, carrying its distinct, reddish-orange sediment southeast as it flows through northern Louisiana. The river’s color comes from rust-colored soils—made up of sandstone, siltstone and shale—found in older Permian red beds in arid areas near the river’s origins. These sediments are visible in water, sandbars, river banks and alluvial farmlands in the Red River floodplain.
The connection between the Red, Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers began long ago when the Red started flowing toward a large meander of the Mississippi. This meander (later called Turnbull’s Bend) intercepted the Red River, turning it into a tributary. The Atchafalaya River also eventually connected with the meander, becoming a distributary. In the mid-1800s, construction of a cut through the narrow neck of Turnbull’s Bend made navigation on the Mississippi more efficient. While the upper channel of Turnbull’s Bend gradually silted in and separated from the Mississippi, the lower channel—Old River—became an important connection between the three rivers.
Severe floods on the Red River in both 1948 and 2015 are significant reminders of the power of water in this dynamic river environment. And although the locks were not designed for flood control, positive water management through the system can have an effect on water levels near the river and below this lock.
Visit Atchafalaya.org for more information about this site.
This site’s geology/geomorphology: Holocene natural levee deposits of Red River
Erected by State of Louisiana and National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 31° 15.2′ N, 91° 57.276′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alfred Greenhouse, Sr. Home (approx. 9.6 miles away); Spring Bayou (approx. 9.8 miles away); Dupuis-Mims Home (approx. 10.1 miles away); Poste Des Avoyelles (approx. 10.1 miles away); Dr. John Ware's Mule Tramway Site (approx. 10.4 miles away); Marksville Mounds (approx. 10½ miles away); Bettevy-DeNux-Roy Home (approx. 10.6 miles away); Cushman Home Site (approx. 10.6 miles away).
More about this marker. Located in the Lindy C. Boggs Lock and Dam park.
Categories. • Environment • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 10, 2018, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 82 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 10, 2018.