Chasing the Mud: The Mississippi River Flood of 2011
The 2011 Mississippi River flood was among the largest and most damaging to occur along this waterway in the past century. This major flood event dramatically increased the flow of water and sediment down the main channel of the Mississippi River and its tributary, the Atchafalaya River. To alleviate pressure on the levee system and control structures, water and sediment were diverted from the river into swamps and marshes in the Atchafalaya basin and Lake Pontchartrain. In contrast to negative impacts to human communities, the flood potentially delivered nourishing sediment to wetlands in the Mississippi River delta plain. This video follows one group of scientists as they investigate sediment deposition in the wetlands of the Mississippi River delta plain. The results of this investigation will lead to a better understanding of how extreme flood events influence sedimentation in wetlands and also will inform efforts to restore the deteriorating marshes of the Mississippi River Delta.