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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS059-E-36323 Date: Apr. 2019
Geographic Region: USA-MISSISSIPPI
Feature: MISSISSIPPI RIVER, GULF OF MEXICO, LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN, NEW ORLEANS, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, RED RIVER

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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Long View of the Mississippi River Delta

While orbiting over the Gulf of Mexico in April 2019, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) looked northward to take this highly oblique photo of the Mississippi River delta. The Mississippi River watershed is one of the largest in the world, consisting of more than a hundred tributaries, including the Red, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers.

The Mississippi watershed extends from the Appalachians to the Rocky Mountains and contributes to about 40 percent of the drainage in the continental United States. It drains water and sediment from 31 U.S. states, delivering both to the Gulf of Mexico via the Atchafalaya and Mississippi River deltas. Longshore currents carry much of those sediments west from the deltas and deposit it along Gulf Coast beaches. A large pulse of sediment, likely the result of widespread flooding during 2019, is visible along the western Louisiana coastline.

The light-toned land on either side of the river distinguishes its alluvial floodplain. Because rivers provide a transportation system and a reliable source of water, people often seek out floodplains for building cities and industries and for developing farms. Along the entire length of the Mississippi River, agricultural land use is extensive. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture runs off into the river drainage systems and eventually enters the Gulf of Mexico. Local and regional flooding can increase stream flow and erosion rates, intensifying this process.

Each summer, hypoxic (low oxygen) “dead zones” can threaten aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico. These dead zones can be caused by nutrient pollution; by limited mixing between water layers due to density and temperature differences; and by a drastic increase in algae blooms—all of which deplete oxygen levels in the water. Sessile (fixed in place) organisms like corals, shellfish, and aquatic plants are unable to escape these dead zones and will often die, harming local food webs and the fishing industries that depend upon them.

 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 682k
Mission: ISS059  
Roll - Frame: E - 36323
Geographical Name: USA-MISSISSIPPI  
Features: MISSISSIPPI RIVER, GULF OF MEXICO, LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN, NEW ORLEANS, BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, RED RIVER  
Center Lat x Lon: 32.0N x 91W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
 
Camera: N8
 
Camera Tilt: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 50  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: N   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
 
Date: 20190426   YYYYMMDD
Time: 192617   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 25.8N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 91.8W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 242   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 219   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 67   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
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