- The Tennessee River travels through four states: Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Kentucky.
- Although it averages a width of a mile across the Tennessee River is only nine feet deep.
- The river is a major transportation route with 34,000 flat-bottomed barges carrying bulk goods to cities all along its path.
The Tennessee River is one of the major river systems in the southeast and the largest tributary of the Ohio River, which is the largest tributary of the Mississippi. Originally deriving its name from the Cherokee people and the nearby town named Tanasi, the region has adapted these names into the state, and river names, that we recognize today. Although the Tennessee River is an important feature of the surrounding landscape, do we know much about it? Today, we are going to learn about the Tennessee River and find out just how deep it really is!
What is the average depth of the Tennessee River?
On average, the Tennessee River is 9 feet deep.
The Tennessee River flows through multiple states, has a few dams, and crosses through more than a few cities! All of this variation in topography can make it quite hard to find the deepest portion of the river. Still, there are some estimations and measurements on just how deep the Tennessee River is.
The Tennessee Valley Authority currently has the average depth of the river at 9 feet or 2.7 meters. While 9 feet certainly isn’t the deepest that the river goes, it’s hard to get an exact number. One reason that getting an estimate for how deep the Tennessee River is at its deepest point is because of how many dams are on it. Dams are usually extremely deep before and after the structure, making the actual depth of the river a bit misleading.
How long is the Tennessee River?
The total length of the channel for the Tennessee River is around 652 miles or 1,049 km. The river begins in western Tennessee near North Carolina and ends north of Tennessee on its eastern side up in Kentucky. Its impressive length secures its spot as the largest tributary of the Ohio River.
How wide is the Tennessee River?
Although the average depth of the river is quite shallow, its width makes up for it. On average, the Tennessee River ranges between 0.5 and 1 mile across. At its widest point, the river measures around 1.5 miles. The width and depth of the river make it perfect for river barges traveling with goods around the region. Each year, 34,000 barges with flat bottoms traverse the river, primarily carrying bulk goods.
What states does the Tennessee River flow through?
The beginning of the river is located one mile upstream of Knoxville, Tennessee. The region is mountainous and is where the French Broad and Holson River meet to create the larger Tennessee River. Although it begins in Tennessee, it crosses into a few states before ending! The Tennessee River travels through four states (or acts as the border), including Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, although it’s extremely close to Georgia, only missing it by 250 feet.
What Animals Live Around the Tennessee River?
Several creatures rely on the river for sustenance including bald eagles, beavers, great blue herons, muskrats, and otters.
The river itself is home to an extensive variety of fish including blue catfish, lake sturgeon, and oyster mussels.
Interested in finding out more about the state of Tennessee? Click on these articles below:
- The Best Swimming Holes in Tennessee: What are the very best spots for enjoying a refreshing splash? We’ve listed them all here.
- The 10 Biggest Lakes In Tennessee: This southeastern state is home to 30 inland bodies of water. Here are the largest of them all.
- 10 Incredible Waterfalls in Tennessee: With 874 waterfalls, it can be hard to know where to start. Which is why we’ve picked the very best of them for you. Read all about our selections in this article.
More from A-Z Animals
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.