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Then the river builds a new delta and the cycle continues.
However, the modern delta has remained in place for about 1,300 years.
Since 1950, there have been two Category Five storms and seven Category Four storms.
Hurricane Katrina made Gulf Coast landfall on August 29th, 2005, as a Category Four storm.
Most of the coastal areas hit by recent (2004-2005) hurricanes have a historical expectation of a direct hit every seven to twenty years.
They also have a historical expectation of Category Three hit every fifteen to fifty years, which happens to be within the lifetime of a noncommercial structure.
Based on radiocarbon dating of previous late Holocene deltas, the present distributary could/should have been abandoned in the last 300 years in favor of a more efficient route to sea level.
The present Mississippi River channel is twice as long and half as steep as shortcuts via the Atchafalaya River or Lake Pontchartrain.
The Mississippi River has aggraded through New Orleans in order to maintain the slope necessary to transport its large sediment load (1 million tons per day) all the way to Southwest Pass.Natural levees do not protect rivers from large flooding events because they are built by frequent (five to twenty year) recurrent floods.Levees can, however, protect from most ocean-based flooding.During a severe flood these natural levees breach, which causees flooding and deposition of sediment in wetlands.This wetland flooding is often considered to be a natural means of absorbing floodwaters and thus floodwater does not continue to flow downstream.