The Pearl River Basin Hannah Thatcher Source: fishcrow.com Pearl River Basin • Located in central Mississippi and eastern part of Louisiana • Bounded by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin on the south and west • Drains all or part of 23 counties in Mississippi and 3 parishes (counties) in Louisiana • Drains an area of 8,760 mi 2 • Contains approximately 7 million acres Source: absoluteastronomy.com • Elevations range from sea level to almost 700 feet (0 to 210 meters) • Upper two-thirds consist of gently rolling to hilly terrain • Southern part is much flatter Source: http://ms.water.usgs.gov/ms_proj/eric/sd_state.gif Source: ms.water.usgs.gov/ ms_proj/eric/pearl.html History • Traces of civilizations dating back to 400 B. C. have been found in the southern part of the basin near Mulatto Bayou • Choctaw Indians lived along the banks of the Upper Pearl • Lower Pearl River is famous for stories of river boat pirates • In 1964 the Pearl River Basin Development District was created • The Pearl River Basin Development District promotes the economic growth and environmental wellness of the Pearl River Basin through the areas of flood control, pollution abatement, water supply, soil conservation, and recreation Geology • Coastal deposits • Citronelle Formation • Pascagoula and Hattieburg Formation • Catahoula Formation • Vicksburg Group and Chickasawhay Limestone • Forest Hill Formation and Red Bluff Clay Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ha/ha730/ch_f/gif/F013.GIF Geology Cont. • Jackson Group • Cockfield Formation • Cook Mountain Formation • Kosciusko Formation • Zilpha and Winona Formation • Tallahatta Formation • Wilcox Group • Naheola Formation • Porters Creek Formation Water •Use of surface water in the basin is large •1.2 million gallons per day are used for irrigation •6.2 million gallons per day are used for livestock •30.7 million gallons per day are used for industry •220,000 gallons per day are used for sand and gravel mining Water Cont. •33 million gallons per day used for municipal drinking water supply •Turbidity is high in the upper two thirds of the basin •Water quality of streams is fair •Southern third of basin streams have a fast, deep flow and have fair to good water quality The Pearl River • Small river draining east- central and southwest Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana • It enters into the Gulf of Mexico via Lake Borgne and the Mississippi Sound • It is approximately 790 km long • Drains an area of 22,690 km2 (0.7% of the Mississippi drainage basin). Source: fishcrow.com Pearl River Cont. • Freshwater and suspended sediment discharges in 2002 were 9.06 km3 and 0.32kg • Drainage basin is dominated by natural forest which includes evergreen, deciduous, and mixed forests, followed by agricultural area • Marshy and swampy areas make up 10% of the land cover and are distributed all along the river corridor Source: www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/?n=pearlriverbasin Ecology • Many different animals call the Pearl home – Large bird population • Ivory-billed Woodpeckers • Swallow-tailed Kites • Barred Owls • Red-shouldered Hawks • Red-bellied Woodpecker • Pileated Woodpecker • Northern Mockingbird • Great Blue Heron • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker • Many more… Source: fishcrow.com Ecology Cont. – Alligators – Snakes (including water moccasins) – Bobcats – Rabbits – Deer – Wild Hogs • The first forests inland from the coast are primarily bald cypress and tupelo • These areas that are always inundated grade into bottomland hardwood forests as elevation increases • The bottomland hardwood forests are of mixed species composition • In the more upland areas of the basin pine communities are established and dominate Source: fishcrow.com References • Collins, Mike. “Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the Pearl River Basin.” – www.fishcrow.com • USGS. “The Pearl River Basin.” – http://ms.water.usgs.gov/ms_proj/eric/pearl.html • Holbrook, John. Schumm, S. A. “ Geomorphic and sedimentary response of rivers to tectonic deformation: a brief review and critique of a tool for recognizing subtle epeirogenic deformation in modern and ancient settings” Tectonophysics Vol. 305, Issues 1-3,10 May 1999, Pages 287-306. • Visser, Jenneke M., Sasser, Charles E., Chabreck, Robert H., Linscombe, R. G.“Marsh vegetation types of the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain.” Estuaries and Coasts Vol 21, Number 4, December 1998, Pages 818-828. • “Pearl Basin” CONSERVATION HABITATS & SPECIES ASSESSMENTS, LA CWCS--DEC 2005 – http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/experience/Pearl.pdf • Storm, E. W. 2005. The Rivers of Mississippi. http://www.mswater.usgs.gov/ms_proj/eric/index.html. • PRBDD Pearl River Basin Development District. “Topography and History.” – www.pearlriverbasin.com/ • Hilgard, Eugene W. “Report on the geology and agriculture of the State of Mississippi.” Cabot Science Library, 2005. • Thompson, David E. “Geologic Map of Mississippi.” Mississippi Office of Geology, June 2009. • Chapman, Elise L., Chambers, Jeffrey Q., Ribbeck, Kenny F., Baker, Dave B., Tobler, Mark A., Hongcheng Zeng, Hongcheng, White, David A. “Hurricane Katrina impacts on forest trees of Louisiana's Pearl River basin.” Forest Ecology and Management, Vol 256, Issue 5, August 20, 2008, Pages 883-889.
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