atchafalaya – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: atchafalaya

flooded oil

[One of the negative aspects of resource extraction in an area, such as the Atchafalaya Basin, designed as an outlet for floodwaters is the potential for floodwaters to overwhelm flood controls and widely distribute industrial contaminants used in the extractive process.  In the photos above (taken by the Gulf Restoration Network at the end of […]

pipelines and straight lines

The history of the Atchafalaya Basin — and much of the history of the greater Mississippi Delta region — is marked by an important transition in the 19th century from an agricultural economy (which had developed with the appearance of European settlers, including the Acadians who became the Cajun) to an extractive economy (initially also […]

the atchafalaya basin project and the wax lake delta

[A map of the administrative units of the Atchafalaya Basin Project in 1982, produced by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Atchafalaya Basin system is made up of three floodways: the Morganza Floodway (fed by the Morganza Spillway), the West Atchafalaya Floodway, and the Lower Atchafalaya Floodway; the latter is composed of the confluence of […]

bayou chene closure project

[During the May 2011 operation of the Morganza Spillway, the Army Corps of Engineers closed one channel within the southern Atchafalaya Basin, Bayou Chene, by dredging the edges of a narrow strait in the Bayou, lining it with rip-rap and sinking a 20,000-ton, 500-foot long barge in the resulting chokepoint.  By stemming the flow down […]

atchafalaya iii: the morgan city floodwall

[The twin Atchafalaya river ports of Morgan City (on the east bank) and Berwick (on the west bank), captured in false-color by the "Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer" on NASA's Terra earth-imaging satellite, May 27, 2011 -- after the second opening of the Morganza Spillway.] Old River Control sits at the northern end […]

atchafalaya ii-c: old river hydraulic sediment response model study

[Video from the Army Corps of Engineers' "Old River Hydraulic Sediment Response Model Study", in which a physical model of Old River Control was used to test the distribution of sediment deposition under various flow conditions in the Low Sill and Auxiliary Structures. The testing was prompted by the observation of problematic deposition in the […]

atchafalaya ii-b: the geomorphology of old river

[Image compiled from Army Corps of Engineers diagrams via Wikimedia.] Quoting further from McPhee’s “Atchafalaya”: “…In the Red River, [Shreve] undertook to disassemble a “raft”—uprooted trees by the tens of thousands that were stopping navigation for a hundred and sixty miles. Shreve cleared eighty miles in one year. Meanwhile, at 31 degrees north latitude (about […]

atchafalaya ii: old river control

[The Auxiliary Structure at Old River Control; photographed by the Army Corps of Engineers, Team New Orleans. Various circumstances have conspired to keep me from finishing the Floods series last week like I had hoped; there are still a few posts yet to come, and several of them will be part of this mini-series within […]

morganza floodway

[1. The Morganza Spillway, the 3,900-foot control structure that sits at the north end of the Morganza Floodway, in drier times.  It "consists of a concrete weir, two sluice gates, seventeen scour indicators, and 125 gated openings".] [2. A levee on the western side of the Morganza Floodway, near Krotz Springs.] [3. The southern terminus […]