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Posts tagged Mississippi River

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.

Fires East of Mississippi Delta, Southeastern USA – March 29th, 2013

30.2N 85.1W

March 29th, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day

USA – March 27th, 2013

Although moderate to heavy rains over the last week greatly improved the drought conditions in the southeastern USA, particularly across Georgia, most of Alabama and South Carolina, and northern and central Florida, many fires can still be seen burning in the region. Here, multiple plumes of smoke blow southwards towards the Gulf of Mexico. Also visible at the lower left is the Mississippi River Delta. Cooling temperatures and more rain are expected to slow the spread of the fires over the weekend.

Mississippi River Delta and Sediments Along Louisiana Coastline, USA

March 6th, 2013 Category: Sediments

USA – March 6th, 2013

Looking at this vibrant, colorful image of sediments along the Louisiana coastline and by the Mississippi River Delta, it is perhaps too easy to forget that not so long ago the BP oil disaster dumped nearly five million barrels of oil— the equivalent of over 200 million gallons—into the Gulf of Mexico and oiled hundreds of miles of coastline in the five gulf states, with Louisiana’s coast and wildlife receiving the greatest percentage of direct ecological damage.

The disaster’s long-term effects are still unfolding. Damage done to animals and plants will have ripple effects through the food web for many years to come. Hydrocarbons from the crude oil remain in the Gulf of Mexico habitats and waters, and – we can expect based on studies of previous spills – will linger in some places for many years.

The full consequences of this event will be understood more fully over time, but it is already clear that the catastrophe further damaged ecosystems that were already compromised and collapsing, especially in the Mississippi River Delta. An oil spill of monumental proportions was the last thing the region needed.

The RESTORE Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) dedicates 80 percent of the penalties paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 oil disaster toward gulf restoration, as recommended by the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The money from these fines will go towards jump starting long-term restoration (click here for more information).

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).

New Borders Feature in Action – January 27th, 2013 – EOSnap Celebrates its 6000th Post!

22.5N 31.7E

January 27th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Image of the day, Lakes

Egypt and Sudan – January 26th, 2013

Bolivia and Peru – January 26th, 2013

Mozambique – January 26th, 2013

USA – January 26th, 2013

Egypt, without borders

EOSnap celebrates our 6000th post by focusing on the new “borders” feature of the Chelys Satellite Rapid Response System (SRRS). The feature allows users to download satellite images that show not only a true, traditional view of the terrain below, but also the borders of countries. The feature is particularly useful for seeing the outline of land despite cloudcover. It can also be used to show the location of lakes.

In the main image, the border between Egypt and Sudan is clearly visible as a horizontal line. The contours of Lake Nasser, which would otherwise be invisible except for its southern tip due to heavy cloud cover (see thumbnail image “Egypt, without borders” for a look at the original, borderless image), are easily distinguishable, highlighted in blue. The thumbnail image of Mozambique shows the country’s shoreline despite an area of convection, in this case a potential area of cyclone formation, looming over the coast. The thumbnail image of Bolivia and Peru focuses on Lake Titicaca, and clearly shows where the lake is divided between the two countries. The thumbnail image of southern USA, in addition to sediments from the Mississippi River, shows the border between Louisiana (right) and Texas (left), as well as the Toledo Bend Reservoir, despite the thick clouds covering the upper half of the image.

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