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Drought and Low Water Levels in the Mississippi River, USA

37.0N 89.1W

April 30th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Rivers

USA – April 29th, 2013

For months along the Mississippi River here, the withering drought has caused record-breaking low water levels that have threatened to shut down traffic on the world’s largest navigable inland waterway.

The river has remained open  for shipping from Missouri to Illinois due to dredging, blasting and scraping away of rock obstructions along the riverbed, effectively lowering the bottom of the channel by two feet. Despite the success in keeping the Mississippi open, the effects of the low water can be seen up and down the river, both in reduced barge traffic and in the disarray caused by receding waters.

Climate Change and Low-Lying Coastal Mississippi River Delta, USA – February 17th, 2013

29.9N 90W

February 17th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Rivers, Sediments

USA – January 25th, 2013

Here, sediments can be seen spilling forth from the Mississippi River in Louisiana, USA. The low lying, coastal Mississippi River Delta region is particularly vulnerable to the climate change threats of sea level rise, increased flood risk and more intense hurricanes. The area is additionally plagued by human-induced environmental degradation that has occurred over the past 200-300 years. The region has lost 1,900 square miles of land since the 1930s and is losing the wetland areas that are crucial to the region’s ecosystem function, economy and character.

Global climate change has induced an increase in global mean sea level with a 3.1 mm/year average rate of increase since 1991. Climate projections indicate a widespread increase of more intense precipitation events, with an associated increased risk of flooding. Similarly, climate scientists also predict an increase in hurricane wind speed and total volume (click here for more information).

Mississippi River Flowing Through Southern USA to Gulf of Mexico

32.4N 91.6W

November 28th, 2012 Category: Rivers

USA – November 25th, 2012

The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest river system in North America. It rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico (bottom). The river either borders or cuts through ten states. Here, it can be seen in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Formed from thick layers of this river’s silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country,

New Orleans and Sediments from Mississippi River, USA

29.9N 90W

April 15th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Rivers

USA - April 13th, 2012

The city of New Orleans can be observed as a greyish tan area on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River and south of Lake Pontchartrain, near the center of this image. The city is located in the Mississippi Delta, approximately 105 miles (169 km) upriver from the Gulf of Mexico. Here, tan sediments can be seen spilling from the river into the gulf. Environmental problems along the coast include erosion and wetland loss.

Agriculture Around Lower Mississippi River, USA

32.8N 88.7W

March 3rd, 2012 Category: Rivers

USA - December 29th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows part of the section of the Mississippi River called the Lower Mississippi River. This section runs from its confluence with the Ohio River to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. Measured by water volume, the Lower Mississippi’s primary branch is the Ohio River.

The widest point of the Mississippi River is in the Lower Mississippi portion where it exceeds 1 mile (1.6 km) in width in several places. Many rectangular fields can be seen on either side of the river, in the Mississippi River Valley. Formed from thick layers of this river’s silt deposits, the Mississippi River Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of the country.