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Image Caption: STS51C-143-0027 Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana, U.S.A. January 1985
This synoptic photograph of the north-central Gulf of Mexico shows southeastern Louisiana and the southwest coast of Mississippi. The three major features in this photograph are the Mississippi River, its delta, and the city of New Orleans located along the south side of Lake Pontchartrain (barely visible at the northern edge of the photograph). This photograph shows the effects of dynamic events, such as wind direction (note the smoke plumes southeast of New Orleans) and the sediment pattern caused by near-shore water currents around the mouth of the Mississippi River--the world's only "bird's foot" delta. The elongated, narrow strips of land parallel to the coastline are fragmented barrier islands--most notably the Chandeleur Islands. Close observation of the field patterns along the Mississippi River in Louisiana shows definite French influence. These rectangular farms, called "long lots," are laid out in sequence, perpendicular to the river, allowing each farm access to the waterways. Swamplands can be seen south of New Orleans.