Louisiana Land Formation

The geography of Louisiana is largely defined by one entity. The Mississippi River.

The Pangaea supercontinent of the Americas dates back some 250 million years, splitting up and drifting apart over a period of around 200 million years, eventually settling into, near enough, its present position.

Further ice ages with shifting glaciers and periods of volcanic eruption and earthquakes shaped the continent of North America with the Mississippi valley taking shape over several million years.

With the evolution of most life forms already in full swing, the arrival of primates, some 60 million years ago would have had very little influence on the new continent.

The river that we know today has existed for at least 10,000 years, although its course is forever changing.

Much of Louisiana was formed by the Mississippi, with sediment deposited over thousands of years. The complex nature of this land formation resulted in the creation of the Delta, with the unique coastal wetlands that we know today.

With the course of the river forever changing, it was realized that were it allowed to continue, it would eventually bypass the major cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
This could not be allowed and in 1963 the Old River Control Structure was completed. The path and the flow of the Mississippi is now closely monitored and controlled.

There is much controversy today over the River's ability to sustain wildlife due to the increasing number of 'dead zones' attributed to nutrients from fertilizers. Added to this, the delta is under threat of continuous erosion.

Louisiana supports an astonishing amount of wildlife, in spite of industrial destruction and environmental decay.
The are many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and bugs with a wide variety of vegetation and habitat.