Mississippi Sound

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The Mississippi Sound is the primary body of water off the Mississippi Coast, extending from Lake Borgne, La. in the west to Mobile Bay, Ala. in the east and bordered by the barrier islands--Cat, Ship, Horn, Petit Bois, and Dauphin Islands--of Gulf Islands National Seashore to the south (Figure 1). It encompasses an estuary 293 km2 (113 mi2) large with a watershed of 259 km2 (100 mi2) and 44 km2 (17 mi2) of tidal marsh (Klein and others, b., 1998). It is approximately 129 km (80 mi) long, 3 m (10 ft) deep, and varies in width from 7.2 to 22.5 km (4.5 to 14 mi) (Klein and others, a., 1998). Average tidal range is 0.6 m (1.96 ft), with local water depth and surface level fluctuations largely affected by wind (Klein and others, b., 1998). The climate is semitropical/subtropical with south-southeast winds at approximately 10.4 kph (6.5 mph).

Major rivers draining into Mississippi Sound, including the Pearl, Pascagoula, and Alabama Rivers, tend to carry high sediment loads (Klein and others, b., 1998). Inland fresh water drainage from these and other smaller rivers, as well as St. Louis and Biloxi Bays, create an estuarine environment in the Sound. Variable salinity levels can affect the productivity and survival of organisms living in the Sound, as well as economic and recreational activities. Predominate vegetation includes Juncus roemerianus (black needlerush) and Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass). Shrimp, crab, oysters, and multiple species of finfish can be found in the waters of the Mississippi Sound.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Mississippi Sound
Chapter I
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Emergent wetlands status and trends in the northern Gulf of Mexico: 1950-2010
Conference Title 2013 Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) All Hands Meeting
Conference Location Tampa, FL
Conference Date June 25-27, 2013
Country United States
State Mississippi
Other Geospatial Mississippi Sound
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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