Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Mississippi Delta is a geographical and political term that may be used in various ways.
In another usage it is the most recent lobe of the recent delta, the area below New Orleans at the mouth of the river - the "modern delta" or "bird's foot delta".
When natives of the state of Mississippi use the term The Delta they're referring to the distinct northwest section of the state, generally between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. It has been said that this incarnation of The Delta "begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg" (various writers have been attributed with composing this memorable line, but most often David Cohen is credited with the saying). This region, created by regular flooding over thousands of years, is remarkably flat and contains some of the most fertile soil on the planet. It includes Washington, Humphreys, Carroll, Issaquena, Quitman, Bolivar, Coahoma, LeFlore, Sunflower, Sharkey, Tunica, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo counties.
The term can also be used for a larger area where the alluvial valley of the Mississippi is also included. The valley reaches from southern Illinois to the junction of the Red, Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers in central Louisiana. The alluvium filled a deep valley that had been eroded during the Pleistocene when the sea level was lower.
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