Mississippi River at New Orleans
April 05, 2002
This Landsat image, taken in January of 2000, shows the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, the bayous of southeastern Louisiana, and part of the coast of Mississippi. New Orleans is the bluish spot, at the bottom-center of the image, sandwiched between Lake Pontchartrain and the sinuous Mississippi River. The "crescent city" actually lies below the level of the Mississippi River and relies on a system of dikes and levees to protect it from flooding. A portion of the Mississippi River delta can be seen at the bottom right. The delta area has increased in size over the last century as North America's longest river, at journeys end, dumps its sediment load into the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana is one of the world's richest and largest estuarine areas - it contains 1/4 of all US wetlands.