The soil beneath the Mississippi River rose, temporarily changing its course so that it flowed backward. The river, by its own power succeeded in cutting across the Desoto Peninsula, something which the Union troops had failed to orchestrate 13 years prior. Erosion also causes the river to change course slightly as the banks change. The violent tremors caused the land underneath the sand layers to shift and bulge, which caused the pockets of sand to pop out of the ground, like a zit. Sand blows are essentially sand volcanoes which spew dirt and sand up from the ground. On April 26 of that year, the Mississippi River suddenly changed courses, leaving Vicksburg high and dry. New Madrid seismic zone.

This type event happened during the New Madrid earthquake of February 21 1812 when the Mississippi River flowed backwards for a few hours. (The phenomenon is not . The earthquake was so powerful, that it caused the Mississippi river to flow backwards and caused exotic ‘Sand Blows‘. The last major change to the river’s course in the Vicksburg area occurred in 1876. A third that can happen is the earthquake forces the river to flow backwards due to the violent seismic movement.

Erosion effects the Mississippi river by causing collapse in the banks of the river. "Earthquakes occurring in the region can threaten parts of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi," Houser said.

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