Formation of New Land (delta growth) in Louisiana
Delta growth, Louisiana
Most of the Mississippi River delta plain is losing ground, but new land is forming in Atchafalaya Bay at the mouths of the Wax Lake Outlet and the Atchafalaya River. Wax Lake Outlet is an artificial channel built to reduce the severity of floods in Morgan City, Louisiana. The Atchafalaya is a distributary of the Mississippi River. Combined, their deltas grow an estimated 2.8 square kilometers (1.1 square mile) per year. Floods transport large amounts of sediment to Atchafalaya Bay, while hurricanes redistribute sediment within the bay and destroy coastal vegetation that would otherwise protect land from erosion.