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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.

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