Delta Dynamics

Deltas are some of the most important natural and human places on Earth. They're where ecosystems interact, new land is built, and people meet to trade goods and grow crops in rich delta soil.

The Mississippi River delta is a place of constant change---but some changes mean danger for the delta. Click on the pictures below to see animations that share the story of this great American treasure.

Globe with deltas marked and graphs showing water volume of and land drained by major rivers

What in the world is a delta? Spin the globe and discover the Earth's major rivers and their deltas.

Map of North America with Mississippi River and watershed of Missouri River highlighted

Does North America's largest river system contain water from your neighborhood?

Graphics show delta land being built by river and fast and slow water flow in river

It's simple math: water + soil + time = delta!

Map of south Louisiana coast 46,000 years ago

Attention, time travelers---delta under construction!

Graphic shows trees and grasses growing on natural levee next to river

Watch the Mississippi plant a forest in the rich delta mud.

Graphic of delta showing canals, human-made levees, and Gulf of Mexico

Discover some clues to the mystery of the disappearing delta.

Did You Know?