Louisiana ( i/luːˌiːziˈænə/ or i/ˌluːziˈænə/; French: État de Louisiane, [lwizjan] ( listen); Louisiana Creole: Léta de la Lwizyàn) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Louisiana is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties. The largest parish by population is East Baton Rouge Parish, and the largest by land area is Cameron Parish.Much of the state was formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
These contain a rich southern biota; typical examples include birds such as ibis and egrets. There are also many species of tree frogs, and fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, and has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
These support an exceptionally large number of plant species including many species of orchids and carnivorous plants.Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so strongly influenced by an admixture of 18th century French, Spanish, Native American (Indian) and African cultures that they are considered to be somewhat exceptional in the U.S. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
Before the American influx and statehood at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory of current Louisiana State had been both a Spanish and French colony. In addition, the pattern of development included importing numerous African slaves in the 18th century, with many from the same region of West Africa, thus concentrating their culture. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643–1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by here theMississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning "Land of Louis". Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canadian border, and included a small part of what is now southwestern Canada. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
Even the Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea. As Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana was then slowly built, over millions of years, from water into land, and from north to south. The oldest rocks are exposed in the north, in areas like the Kisatchie National Forest. Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
The oldest rocks date back only to the early Tertiary Era, some 60 million years ago. The best history of the formation of these rocks can be found in Spearing's Geological History of Lousiana.
The youngest parts of the state were formed over the last 7,500 years as deltas of the Mississippi River: The Maringouin, Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
Teche, St. Bernard, Lafourche, the modern Mississippi, and now the Atchafalaya. The sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River.
In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, and the relatively new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces. Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery
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.
Salt domes are also found in Louisiana. Their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery
There are several hundred salt domes in the state; one of the most familiar is Avery Island. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt; they also serve as underground traps for oil and gas.
Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas; to the north by Arkansas; to the east by the state of Mississippi; and to the south by the Gulf of Mexico. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery
The surface of the state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, and the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, and barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles (52,000 km2). Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery
This area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 miles (1,000 km) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico; the Red River; the Ouachita River and its branches; and other minor streams (some of which are called bayous). Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery
The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles (15 to 100 km), and along the other rivers the alluvial region averages about 10 miles (15 km) across. The Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own 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). Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery
The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features.
The higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles (65,000 km2). They consist of prairie and woodlands. The elevations above sea level range from 10 feet (3 m) at the coast and swamp lands to 50 and 60 feet (15–18 m) at the prairie and alluvial lands. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery
In the uplands and hills, the elevations rise to Driskill Mountain, the highest point in the state at only 535 feet (163 m) above sea level.
Besides the navigable waterways already named, there are the Sabine (Sah-BEAN), forming the western boundary; and the Pearl, the eastern boundary; Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery
the Calcasieu (KAL-cah-shew), the Mermentau, the Vermilion, Bayou Teche, the Atchafalaya (a-CHAF-a-LI-a), the Boeuf (bEHf), Bayou Lafourche, the Courtableau, Bayou D'Arbonne, the Macon, the Tensas (TEN-saw), Amite River, theTchefuncte (CHA-Funk-ta), the Tickfaw, the Natalbany, and a number of other smaller streams, constituting a natural system of navigable waterways, aggregating over 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
The state also has political jurisdiction over the approximately 3-mile (4.8 km)-wide portion of subsea land of the inner continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. Through a peculiarity of the political geography of the United States, this is substantially less than the 9-mile (14 km)-wide jurisdiction of nearby states Texas and Florida, which, like Louisiana, have extensive Gulf coastlines. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
The southern coast of Louisiana in the United States is among the fastest disappearing areas in the world. This is largely a consequence of human mismanagement of the coast (see Wetlands of Louisiana). At one time, the land actually grew when spring floods from the Mississippi River added sediment and stimulated marsh growth; the land is now shrinking. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
There are multiple causes. Artificial levees now block spring flood water that would bring fresh water and sediment to marshes. Swamps have been extensively logged, leaving canals and ditches that allow saline water to move inland. Canals dug for the oil and gas industry also allow storms to move sea water inland where it damages swamps and marshes. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
Rising sea waters have exacerbated the problem. Some estimates conclude that the state is losing a land mass equivalent to 30 football fields every day. There are many proposals to save coastal areas by reducing human damage, including restoring natural floods from the Mississippi. Without such restoration, coastal communities will continue to disappear. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
And as the communities disappear, more and more people are leaving the region. Since the coastal wetlands also support an economically important coastal fishery, the loss of wetlands will also negatively affect this industry.
Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
perhaps the most "classic" example of a humid subtropical climate of all the Southcentral states, with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters. The subtropical characteristics of the state are due in large part to the influence of the Gulf of Mexico, which even at its farthest point is no more than 200 miles (320 km) away. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
Precipitation is frequent throughout the year, although the summer is slightly wetter than the rest of the year. There is a dip in precipitation in October. Southern Louisiana receives far more copious rainfall, especially during the winter months. Summers in Louisiana are hot and humid, Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery
with high temperatures from mid-June to mid-September averaging 90 °F (32 °C) or more and overnight lows averaging above 70 °F (22 °C). In the summer, the extreme maximum temperature is much warmer in the north than in the south, with temperatures near theGulf of Mexico occasionally reaching 100 °F (38 °C), although temperatures above 95 °F (35 °C) are commonplace. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery
In northern Louisiana, the temperatures reach above 105 °F (41 °C) in the summer.
Temperatures are generally mildly warm in the winter in the southern part of the state, with highs around New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the rest of south Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico averaging 66 °F (19 °C), while the northern part of the state is mildly cool in the winter with highs averaging 59 °F (15 °C). Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery
The overnight lows in the winter average well above freezing throughout the state, with 46 °F (8 °C) the average near the Gulf and an average low of 37 °F (3 °C) in the winter in the northern part of the state. Louisiana does have its share of cold fronts, which frequently drop the temperatures below 20 °F (−8 °C) in the northern part of the state, but almost never do so in the southern part of the state. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
Snow is not very common near the Gulf of Mexico, although those in the northern parts of the state can expect one to three snowfalls per year, with the frequency increasing northwards. Louisiana's highest recorded temperature is 114 °F(46 °C) in Plain Dealing on August 10, 1936 while the coldest recorded temperature is−16 °F (−27 °C) at Minden on February 13, 1899. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery
Louisiana is often affected by tropical cyclones and is very vulnerable to strikes by major hurricanes, particularly the lowlands around and in the New Orleans area. The unique geography of the region with the many bayous, marshes and inlets can make major hurricanes especially destructive. The area is also prone to frequent thunderstorms, especially in the summer. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery
The entire state averages over 60 days of thunderstorms a year, more than any other state except Florida. Louisiana averages 27 tornadoes annually, some in part in 2010. The entire state is vulnerable to a tornado strike, with the extreme southern portion of the state slightly less so than the rest of the state. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery
Tornadoes are much more common from January to March in the southern part of the state, and from February through March in the northern part of the state.August 28-29, 2012, Hurricane Isaac hits southeast Louisiana, just 7 years after Katrina (2005)September 1, 2008, Gustav made landfall along the Louisiana coast near Cocodrie in southeastern Louisiana. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery
As late as August 31 it had been projected by the National Hurricane Center that the hurricane would remain at Category 3 or above on September 1, but in the event the center of Gustav made landfall as a strong Category 2 hurricane (1 mph below Category 3), and dropped to Category 1 soon after. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery
As a result of NHC's forecasts there had been a massive evacuation of New Orleans amid warnings (for example from the city's mayor, Ray Nagin) that this would be the “storm of the century”, potentially more devastating than Katrina almost exactly three years earlier, but these fears were not realised. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery
Nevertheless, a significant number of deaths were caused by or attributed to Gustav, and around 1.5 million people were without power in Louisiana on September 1.
September 24, 2005, Rita (Category 3 at landfall) struck southwestern Louisiana, flooding many parishes and cities along the coast, including Cameron Parish,Lake Charles, and other towns. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery
The storm's winds further weakened the damaged levees in New Orleans and caused renewed flooding in parts of the city.August 29, 2005, Katrina (Category 3 at landfall) struck and devastated southeastern Louisiana, where it breached and undermined levees in New Orleans, causing 80% of the city to flood. Most people had been evacuated but the majority of the population became homeless. Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery
The city was virtually closed until October. It is estimated that more than two million people in the Gulf region were displaced by the hurricane, and that more than 1,500 fatalities resulted in Louisiana alone. A public outcry criticized governments at the local, state, and federal levels, citing that preparation and response was neither fast nor adequate. Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery
The effects of the hurricane scattered Louisiana residents across the country.
Further information: Effect of Hurricane Katrina on Louisiana and Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New OrleansOct. 3, 2002, Lili (Category 1 at landfall)
August 1992, Andrew (Category 3 at landfall) struck south-central Louisiana. Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery
It killed four people; knocked out power to nearly 150,000 citizens; and destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars of crops in the state.August 1969, Camille (Category 5) caused a 23.4 ft (7.1 m). storm surge and killed 250 people. Although Camille officially made landfall in Mississippi and the worst impacts were felt there, it also had effects in Louisiana. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery
New Orleans was spared the brunt of the storm and remained dry, with the exception of mild rain-generated flooding in the most low-lying areas.September 9, 1965, Betsy (Category 3 at landfall) came ashore in Louisiana, causing massive destruction as the first hurricane in history to cause one billion dollars in damage (over ten billion in inflation-adjusted USD). Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery
The storm hit New Orleans particularly hard by flooding approximately 35% of the city (including the Lower 9th Ward, Gentilly, and parts of Mid-City), and pushing the death toll in the state to 76.
June 1957, Audrey (Category 4) devastated southwest Louisiana, destroying or severely damaging 60–80 percent of the homes and businesses from Cameron toGrand Chenier. Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery
40,000 people were left homeless and more than 300 people in the state were killed.
August 10, 1856, Hurricane One (Category 4) made landfall at Last Island, Louisiana. The 25-mile (40 km) long barrier island resort community was devastated by being split into 5 separate islands, and over 200 people were killed. Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery
Owing to its location, and geology, the state has high biological diversity. Some vital areas, such as southwestern prairie, have experienced a loss in excess of 98 percent. The pine flatwoods of the Florida parishes are also at great risk, mostly from fire suppression and urban sprawl. There is not yet a properly organized system of natural areas to represent and protect Louisiana's biological diversity. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
Such as system would consist of a protected system of core areas linked by biological corridors, such as Florida is planning.None-the-less, Louisiana contains a number of areas which are, in varying degrees, protected from human intervention. In addition to National Park Servicesites and areas and a United States National Forest, Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
Louisiana operates a system of state parks, state historic sites, one state preservation area, one state forest, and many Wildlife Management Areas. The Nature Conservancy also owns and manages a set of natural areas. One of Louisiana's largest natural areas is Kisatchie National Forest. It is some 600,000 acres in area, Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery
more than half of which is vital flatwoods vegetation, which supports many rare plant and animal species.These include the Louisiana pine snake and Red-cockaded woodpecker. The system of protected cypress swamps around Lake Pontchartrain provides another large and important natural area, with southern wetland species including egrets, alligators, and sturgeon. Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery
At least 12 core areas would be needed to build a protected areas system for the state; these would range from southwestern prairies, to the Pearl River Floodplain in the east, to the Mississippi River alluvial swamps in the north.The Louisiana Natural and Scenic Rivers System provides a degree of protection for 48 rivers, streams and bayous in the state. Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery
It is administered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The Intracoastal Waterway is an important means of transporting commercial goods such as petroleum and petroleum products, agricultural produce, building materials and manufactured goods.
In 2011, Louisiana ranked among the five deadliest states for debris/litter –caused vehicle accidents per total number of registered vehicles and population size. Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery
Figures derived from the NTSHA show at least 25 persons in Louisiana were killed each year in motor vehicle collisions with non-fixed objects, including debris, dumped litter, animals and their carcasses.
Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for many millennia before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
During the Middle Archaic period, Louisiana was the site of the earliest mound complex in North America and one of the earliest dated, complex constructions in the Americas, the Watson Brake site near present-day Monroe. An 11-mound complex, it was built about 5400 BP (3500 BCE). The Middle Archaic sites of Caney and Frenchman's Bend have also been securely dated to 5600-5000 BP, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
demonstrating that seasonal hunter-gatherers organized to build complex constructions in present-day northern Louisiana. The Hedgepeth Site in Lincoln Parish is more recent, dated to 5200-4500 BP.
Nearly 2,000 years later, Poverty Point, the largest and best-known Late Archaic site in the state, was built. Modern-day Epps developed near it. Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
The Poverty Point culture may have hit its peak around 1500 BCE, making it the first complex culture, and possibly the first tribal culture in North America. It lasted until approximately 700 BCE.
The Poverty Point culture was followed by the Tchefuncte and Lake Cormorant cultures of the Tchula period, local manifestations of Early Woodland period. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
The Tchefuncte culture were the first people in Louisiana to make large amounts of pottery. These cultures lasted until 200 CE. The Middle Woodland period starts in Louisiana with the Marksville culture in the southern and eastern part of the state and the Fourche Maline culture in the northwestern part of the state. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
The Marksville culture takes its name from the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. These cultures were contemporaneous with theHopewell cultures of Ohio and Illinois, and participated in the Hopewell Exchange Network. Trade with peoples to the southwest brought the bow and arrowThe first burial mounds were built at this time. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
Political power begins to be consolidated as the first platform mounds at ritual centers are constructed for the developing hereditary political and religious leadership. By 400 CE in the southern part of the state the Late Woodland period had begun with the Baytown culture and it was not all that much of a change in the cultural history of the area. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
Population increased dramatically and there is strong evidence of a growing cultural and political complexity. Many Coles Creek sites were erected over earlier Woodland period mortuary mounds, leading researchers to speculate that emerging elites were symbolically and physically appropriating dead ancestors to emphasize and project their own authority. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
The Mississippian period in Louisiana sees the emergence of the Plaquemine and the Caddoan Mississippian cultures. This period is when extensive maize agriculture is adopted. The Plaquemine culture in the lower Mississippi River Valley in western Mississippi and eastern Louisiana begins in 1200 CE and goes to about 1400 CE. Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery
Good examples of this culture are the Medora Site in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and the Emerald Mound, Winterville and Holly Bluff sites in Mississippi.Plaquemine culture was contemporaneous with the Middle Mississippian culture in the Cahokia site near St. Louis, Missouri. This group is considered ancestral to the Natchez and Taensa Peoples. Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery