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Satellite Observations of the Flood-Driven Mississippi River Plume

The Mississippi River is the fourth longest river in the world and the sixth largest in terms of the volume of water that it discharges, making it the dominant source of nutrient input to the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, the northern Gulf of Mexico waters are very productive for fisheries in the U.S. The excessive flooding that is impacting the Mississippi watershed is elevating the amount of nutrients and sediments that are discharged into the Gulf. Using the NASA Aqua satellite’s MODIS sensor, the plumes of silt and other particulates are clearly visible in the “true color” image taken on May 17, 2011 (top). NOAA analysis of this imagery can identify the amount of suspended matter (particles) in the plumes, shown on the bottom image. Darker yellow colors indicate water that is more turbid, containing a higher concentration of mud, silt, and other particulates.

Satellite Observations of the Flood-Driven Mississippi River Plume
Copyright:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Keywords:MODIS Flood, Mississippi River, 2011.05.20 logo
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