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Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp.
These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets.
The Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits (known as a levee), from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile (3 m/km).
The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features.
When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. The youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St.
Bernard, Lafourche, the modern Mississippi, and now the Atchafalaya.
Their age and distribution can be largely related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages.
In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation.