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The Mississippi River Delta, USA – July 14th, 2009

29.9N 90W

July 14th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

USA - June 24th, 2009

USA - June 24th, 2009

The Mississippi River Delta is the modern area of land (the river delta) built up by alluvium deposited by the Mississippi River as it slows down and enters the Gulf of Mexico.

Here, a great deal of golden tan, rust and dark brown colored sediments can observed flowing from the lobes of the delta into the gulf.

The deltaic process has, over the past 5,000 years, caused the coastline of south Louisiana to advance gulfward from 15 to 50 miles (24 to 80 km).

It is a biologically significant region, comprising 3 million acres (12,000 km²) of coastal wetlands and 40% of the salt marsh in the contiguous United States.

It is also a commercially significant region, supporting the economy of New Orleans with significant shipping traffic, providing 16 to 18 % of the US oil supply, and providing 16 % of the US’s fisheries harvest, including shrimp, crabs, and crayfish.

Mississippi River and Catahoula Lake, USA

31.5N 92.1W

July 12th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - June 24th, 2009

USA - June 24th, 2009

The Mississippi River snakes its way through the center of this image, marking the border between the states of Lousiana (left) and Mississippi (right), USA. The river appears brown due to the sediments it is carrying towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Many smaller rivers, streams and lakes are visible in this region. The largest lake that can be observed here is the freshwater Catahoula Lake, located in central Louisiana. It is the largest natural freshwater lake in the state, covering just over 46 square miles.

Catahoula is a shallow, and poorly drained wetland supported by the Little River and several creeks. It was drained by the Old River, French Fork and a number of bayous until several flood control projects changed the lake’s drainage characteristics.

The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, USA – June 28th, 2009

34.0N 91.1W

June 28th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Mississippi River, USA - June 17th, 2009

Mississippi River, USA - June 17th, 2009

The  Mississippi River snakes its way vertically across this image, appearing tan from sediments and, to the south, white from sun glint.

The land around it is tan in color, whereas the rest of the terrain in the image is dark green. This tan area is the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain, an alluvial plain created by the river.

The plain includes parts of seven states, from southern Louisiana (below) to southern Illinois (above).

It is divided into the Mississippi River Delta in the southern half of Louisiana and the inland Mississippi Embayment running from central Louisiana to Illinois.

It is the largest ecoregion of Louisiana, covering 12,350 square miles, and including all of the historic Mississippi River floodplain.

The Lower Mississippi River, USA – March 3rd, 2009

March 3rd, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Mississippi River, USA - March 1st, 2009

Mississippi River, USA - March 1st, 2009

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States, with a length of 2,320 miles (3,730 km) from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. Here, its lower section is visible running through the midwestern states.

The plains through which is flows can be seen surrounded by snow in the states of Missouri (top left), Tennessee (top right), Arkansas (bottom left) and Mississippi (bottom right).

In the full image, the warmer states of Lousiana (bottom left) and Mississippi (bottom right) are free of snow. As it flows through this agricultural region, the river is brown with sediments. Many fields can be seen flanking the river.

Sediments in the Mississippi River Delta – February 11th, 2009

February 11th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Louisiana, USA - February 7th, 2009

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - February 7th, 2009

The city of New Orleans is located in the Mississippi River Delta in southeastern Louisiana, USA. It was built on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, which runs through the city. A bridge, the Lake Pontchartrain causeway, is visible across the center of the lake.

Lake Pontchartrain is flanked by Lake Maurepas (left) and Lake Borgne (right). Lake Maurepas appears dark brown due to sediments, which are particularly visible towards its southern shore. The other two lakes are more green in color, due to algae growth.

The thick tan-colored bands reaching to the East from the left side of the image are agricultural areas and canals built along the banks of the Mississippi River (above) and along various bayous.

The Mississippi River continues east, through New Orleans, then bends south, and finally southeast. The area where the river meets the Gulf of Mexico is called the Bird’s Foot Delta, the newest section of the evolving Mississippi River Delta.

Here, the main branch of the Mississippi River splits into three different directions at its mouth: Southwest Pass (west), Pass A Loutre (east) and South Pass (centre). The location of this split is known as the Head of Passes.

The waters of the Mississippi River are golden brown from sediments, which are carried eastward and flow into the Bird’s Foot Delta and the Gulf of Mexico. This entire area appears light brown and green, as a mix of sediments and algae is present.