Atchafalaya River and Bays along the Louisiana Coast
This ASAR (radar) image allows viewers to see currents in several bays off the coast of Louisiana, USA, west of New Orleans. The flow of water moves southward, pouring out of various streams and rivers, towards the Gulf of Mexico.
The bays visible are, from left to right, Vermilion Bay, West Cote Blanche Bay, East Cote Blanche Bay and Atchafalaya Bay.
The main river visible (top right) is the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi and Red rivers. It is approximately 170 miles (270 km) long.
Formed near Simmesport at the confluence of the Red River with the Mississippi, it meanders south as a channel of the Mississippi, through extensive levees and floodways, past Morgan City, and empties into the Gulf of Mexico in Atchafalaya Bay approximately 15 miles (25 km) south of Morgan City.
The river is now forming a new delta in the bay – the only place on the Louisiana coastline that is gaining ground.