Delta Dynamics

Scene of bayou, cypress trees, and marsh
The Mississippi River delta, shown here in a view from the Barataria Preserve's Marsh Overlook Trail, is one of the most ecologically productive places on earth.

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.

Sorry---this page is currently under revision. Videos are not accessible at this time.

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.

Last updated: November 6, 2017

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