Ecosystem effects in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Professional Paper 1798-L
This report is Chapter L in 2011 Floods of Central United States. For more information, see: Professional Paper 1798.
By: , and 



The 2011 Mississippi River flood in the Lower Mississippi River Basin was one of the largest flood events in recorded history, producing the largest or next to largest peak streamflow for the period of record at a number of streamgages on the lower Mississippi River. Ecosystem effects include changes to wetlands, nutrient transport, and land accretion and sediment deposition changes. Direct effects to the wetland ecosystems in the Lower Mississippi River Basin were minimized because of the expansive levee system built to pass floodwaters. Nutrients carried by the Mississippi River affect water quality in the Lower Mississippi River Basin. During 2011, nutrient fluxes in the lower Mississippi River were about average. Generally, nutrient delivery of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers contributes to the size of the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on available limited post-flood satellite imagery, some land expansion in both the Wax Lake and Atchafalaya River Deltas was observed. A wetland sediment survey completed in June 2011 indicated that recent sediment deposits were relatively thicker in the Atchafalaya and Mississippi River (Birdsfoot) Delta marshes compared to marshes farther from these rivers.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Ecosystem effects in the Lower Mississippi River Basin
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1798
Chapter L
DOI 10.3133/pp1798L
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description v, 17 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title 2011 Floods of the Central United States
Country United States
State Louisiana, Mississippi
Other Geospatial Mississippi River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details