Black Warrior River
The Black Warrior River is a 178 mi (286 km) long tributary of the Tombigbee River. With its upper watershed encompassing a forested area of high bluffs at the extreme southern end of the Appalachian Mountains and its western edge the suburbs of Birmingham, the Black Warrior River drains an area of 6,275 sq mi (16,250 km²) in west central Alabama. In its lower reaches, the Black Warrior River flows across the forests of the Coastal Plain. The main stem of the Black Warrior River is now impounded along nearly its entire course in a chain of narrow reservoirs constructed for hydroelectricity, drinking water, and navigation.
The Black Warrior River is formed approximately 25 mi (40 km) west of Birmingham by the confluence of the Mulberry and Locust forks, which join as arms of Bankhead Lake, a narrow reservoir on the upper river formed by the Bankhead Lock and Dam. Bankhead Lake and Holt Lake, formed by the Holt Lock and Dam, encompass the entire course of the river for its upper 50 mi (80 km) stretching southeast into central Tuscaloosa County, northwest of Tuscaloosa. The Black Warrior flows westward past downtown Tuscaloosa, the largest city on the river, then flows generally south in a highly meandering course, joining the Tombigbee River from the northeast at Demopolis. The lower 30 mi (48 km) of the river are part of the narrow Lake Demopolis. The river is navigable along its entire course, forming part of the extended system of waterways and locks that link Mobile Bay to Birmingham.
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