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28. Mississippi River Delta, Salinity Front
In this black-and-white synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image of the Mississippi Delta, several long, narrow, curving features can be seen in the waters to the east of the delta (at the right of the frame). These are surface waves resulting from the interaction between the outflowing fresh waters of the Mississippi River and the ambient saline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The less-saline river water is less dense than the Gulf waters, and therefore flows out across the salty sea water at the river mouth. Fresh water can be seen discharging to a distance of about 5 kilometers out to sea where it blends with Gulf water.