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        The Mississippi River Delta

        Powered by the force of gravity, the world's rivers deliver about 20 billion tons of loosened rock and soil to the oceans each year. For the past 100 million years, redeposited sediment has gradually increased the size of the Mississippi River Delta. But over the past several decades, the coast of southern Louisiana has been losing rather than gaining land. These aerial views from NASA, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and U.S. Geological Survey illustrate how river management practices and severe weather events, including Hurricane Katrina, dramatically changed the size and shape of the Louisiana coastline and the Mississippi River Delta in the 20 years between 1985 and 2005.

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