GeoCarta Has Moved

Sep 2, 2005

NOAA Begins Surveying Damage to Mississippi River

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has begun mapping the damage done to the Mississippi River shipping channel by Hurricane Katrina.

The picture at the top is the shipping channel and delta prior to Katrina. Land appears green in the satellite image. The lower image shows the same area. The lack of green illustrates the large area that is currently underwater. The submersion of this area increases erosion of Louisiana's coastline. It is feared that the Mississippi may even someday change course. Louisiana has lost more that 1,900 square miles to erosion in the last 75 years.

NOAA has deployed researchers to the ship channel to use sonar to survey the channel for potential underwater obstructions and damage. It is possible Katrina may have left cars, boats or even houses on the bottom of the channel. Whether large ocean-going ships can safely navigate the channel or not will not be known for at least several days.

Complete article from The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)