A flat, low-lying area located at the mouth of a river and created over many years by sediments and nutrients deposited when the regular flow of river water B.C. to describe the mouth of the Nile River, whose shape resembled the triangular Greek letter of the same name, with the apex pointing upriver. Herman Melville in Moby-Dick makes literary use of this compelling geographical image: “The old man’s purpose intensified itself. His firm lips met like the lips of a vice; the Delta of his forehead’s veins swelled like overladen brooks.” America’s most famous delta is the bird-foot or lobate delta at the mouth of the Mississippi, on the Louisiana coast. To citizens of the state of Mississippi, however, “Mississippi Delta” means something different. It’s the fertile alluvial land running tabletop flat “from the lobby of the Peabody Hotel [in Memphis, Tennessee] to Delta Hill in Yazoo City [Mississippi],” land bounded to the east and west by, respectively, the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers. This “inland delta,” isolated and farmed for cotton by generations of black slaves, has been a cultural treasure trove, giving fertile rise to grand southern literature and the plaintive originality of black gospel, blues, and rock music. As an adjective, delta is used to describe a wide range of related geographical features. There are delta terraces and bars, delta plains and shorelines, and delta lakes. The latter are formed along coastal areas when sediment bars build up across an embayment or when part of the sea is entirely captured by the growth of deltaic deposits. Small deltas the size of a dinner plate may form where a creek enters a lake (technically, a lacustrine delta). A cuspate delta, the opposite of the fan-shaped or arcuate delta, forms where ocean waves reduce the width of the delta to a point as it enters the larger body of water. The bird- or bird’s foot delta takes its name from the narrow lobes of land that carry trunks of the same river separately to the sea.mixes with the relatively still water of a lake, gulf, bay, or ocean, the term delta was first used by Herodotus in the fifth century

Mike Tidwell