Louisiana's Lost Wetlands

Earlier studies using high resolution Google earth satellite imagery show extensive remains of ancient canals, ponds, artificial islands and harbours all along the banks of the rivers Parana, Paraguay, Amazon, the Pantanal, and Tabasco in Mexico
(see canals parana rio for example and further links at foot of page.)

This page looks at examples of canals, artificial islands, ponds and harbours along the gulf coast of Louisiana where there exists a large number of oil exploration canals making it difficult to distinguish between those that might have been ancient and those of modern times.

The location was first brought to the public attention by John Jensen, see Ancient Canal Builders. Although not claiming the Louisiana site as the home of Atlantis, John's page proposes that an ancient, aquatic based culture flourished in the Americas since the Gulf Coast is covered in the remains of apparantly ancient canals about 135ft wide and extra wide canals such as about 1 stade of 605ft and even greater canals as much as 900ft in width. Some of these canals run into the sea in what is now the Gulf of Mexico, crossing islands and emerging on land again suggesting they were built at a time when the water level was lower, i.e. before the land was drowned at the end of the last ice age by the rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico. However the great majority of canals in this area were created by the oil industry and these are considered by some people as being the cause of the destruction and sinking of a large part of the Louisiana wetlands areas. The vast number of oil industry canals also make it difficult to identify with certainty ancient canals in this region.

Some views from Google Earth

double lane  canal Louisiana
Above, this example of double-lane canal is part of a vast complex of canals, islands and harbours all along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana with this particular example being in a region south of New Orleans. Some people have dismissed these features as being the work of modern property developers or the U.S. army corps of engineers who constructed parts of the intra coastal waterway, whilst the major builder of dredged canals in the area are oil companies who dredged access canals to their exploration wells. Study of these images suggests that some canals could have belonged to a much more ancient period and incorporated into oil companies networks but the majority in this area appear dug by the oil companies although beneath these can sometimes be seen older canals more typical of the ancient types associated with linked ponds and artificial islands. Many of these canals and islands have been re-utilised by modern developers and some of the canals still used and maintained today such as those parts incorporated into the intra coastal waterway. Google earth is an ideal tool for identifying sites of interest but by itself cannot tell you whether canals are ancient or more recent!

double lane canal Louisiana
Above, this close-up shows how the sides of the canal have broken down in places and since the black areas are now water, the canal is effectively today passing through a lake.

double lane  canal complex
Above, the double canal enters another complex, the canals crossing at right angles appear to be dug through the double canal.

double lane  canal complex
Above, close-up view showing how the double canals appears cut through by later canals.

double lane canal Louisiana
Above, the double-lane canal continues south-east.

double lane  canal Louisiana
Above, the double-lane canal enters a flooded area and crosses through what is now an island.

double lane  canal Louisiana
Above, the double-lane canal continues through the now flooded lakes and crosses another dry land area.

double lane  canal underwater Louisiana
Above, the double-lane canal continues through the now flooded lakes. You can see it entering on the left, and exiting onto part of an island at the right of the picture. Other sections of old canals can also be seen on the two islands in the centre and north centre of the picture. The land area has been encroached by the rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico, submerging the former canals and islands.

double lane canal Louisiana
Above, enlargement of island at right hand side of previous picture. The double-lane canal crosses this island in the middle of the bay.

double lane canal Louisiana
Above, enlargement of island showing remains of the double-lane canal. Google earth does not provide dating in this instance!

double lane  canal Louisiana
Above, Google earth measures one lane of the canal at about 135ft.

double lane  canal underwater Louisiana
From the island at the left of the picture, the double-lane canal continues across the bay to join another complex of canals on the right of the picture.

double lane  canal underwater Louisiana
Above, the sunken canal complex shows up well in this picture.

double lane  canal underwater Louisiana
Above, the canals lead to further sunken complexes.

Louisiana ice age shoreline
Above, the ice age shoreline (dotted) compared to the present day shoreline
shows that the zone of sunken canals was dry land before the end of the ice age
although the present Mississippi river delta is said to have formed around 2000BC.

With the discovery of oil in this part of Louisiana, many canals were dug throughout the wetlands to give access to exploration wells as an alternative to building roads. This makes it difficult to distinguish between canals that may have been part of an ancient culture and canals that were part of the modern oil extraction infrastructure of canals. The wetlands landscape is the type of landscape that ancient Americans chose to live in, adapting the environment with artificial ponds, canals and islands but the vast canal works associated with the oil industry has completely changed the landscape and led to the destruction of a great part of the former "wetlands".

These links on oil exploration canals suggest the above photos are examples of the type of channels cut for oil exploration. Louisiana oil exploration canals
canals and land loss
canals court case

oil exploration canals  Louisiana
Above, oil exploration canals are blamed for the destruction of the Louisiana wetlands environment.

This complex of canals, islands and harbours appears to have been overwhelmed by the rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico largely as the result of modern coastal erosion induced by the construction of the canals themselves.


Further examples

canals complex Louisiana 1998
Above, by 1998, many canals were already being submerged.

canals complex Louisiana 2007
Above, by 2007, many canals now disappeared and the wetlands turned into a vast bay.

canals complex Louisiana 1998
Above, 1998 view including giant diagonal canal 928ft wide....

canals complex Louisiana 2007
Above, 2007 view, many canals now disappeared due to the rising waters.

harbour complex Louisiana 1998
Above, 1998 view showing harbour complex which appears to have been adapted from previous canals....

harbour complex Louisiana 2007
Above, by 2007 the rising waters have created a "sunken harbour"....

circular harbour complex Louisiana 1998
Above, this 1998 photo shows a circular harbour complex of concentric rings 328ft in diameter, built by the oil industry or ancient inhabitants of the Gulf Coast?...

circular harbour Louisiana
Above, by 2006 the central ring has been submerged.

Louisiana Intra Coastal Waterway
Above, map showing route of Inter Coastal Waterway. We can note the intended width of the modern sections at 125ft.

canal complex Louisiana
Above, this part of the Intra Coastal Waterway passes through an extensive canal complex of oil exploration canals..

canal complex Louisiana
Above, this part of Intra Coastal waterway is 986ft wide, was use was made of an already existing ancient canal or was it completely dug by army engineers?.

canal complex Louisiana
Above, another example of canals complex possibly used for oil exploration.

oil platform Louisiana
Above, example of oil platform approx 237ft x 70ft wide.

wide canal Louisiana
Above, the wide channel is 300ft wide.

canals Louisiana
Above, the double canal has been cut through by a later channel.

fishing sites Louisiana
Above, the area now seems to be a centre for fishing. If all these channels were indeed cut out by oil companies, then it seems an immense labour effort was involved and it seems almost incredible that oil companies should cut such a great number of very wide channels in such a haphazard fashion.

canals Louisiana
Above, oblique view.

louisiana canals, islands and ponds
close-up shows the double canal to have been built through older canals more typical of those of ancient Americans such as seen in Beni region of Bolivia..

pipeline canals
The explantion of the double canals is given in this fishing article ... pipeline canals

digging gulf outlet in 1958
digging a new Gulf outlet in 1958 click for details of another new canal proposal

canal complex Louisiana
Above, another example of canals complex.

canal complex Louisiana
Above, another drowned canal complex in Louisiana, the hammerhead tee-off branches suggest oil exploration, compare it to the following photo....

canal complex Tabasco, Mexico
Above, this example for comparison is in Tabasco, Mexico
similar to the preceeding one in Louisiana. See also Tabasco oil exploration canals for an update on oil exploration in Tabasco.

sunken canal complex Louisiana
Above, more sunken canals and harbour complexes.

sunken canal complex Louisiana
Above, this section of canal is about 165ft wide.

pipeline canal complex Louisiana
Above, this section of double-lane canal is about 256ft wide wide and appears to be part of a pipeline canal system..

pipeline canal complex Louisiana
Above, this section of semi-submerged double-lane canal crossed by east-west canal.

ancient canal complex Louisiana
Above, examples of canals, the right-hand one is a continuation of the pipeline canal.

canal complex Louisiana
Above, this section of canal is 605ft wide (about 1 stade).

canal complex Louisiana
Above, another drowned canal example.

canal complex Louisiana
Above, this section of canal is 768ft wide.

louisiana canals, islands and ponds
Example of artificial ponds and canals in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana. see rio Parana canals, ponds and islands for comparison.

louisiana canals, islands and ponds
Example of artificial ponds and canals in the Gulf Coast region of Louisiana.

louisiana canals, islands and ponds
on this example, oil well access channels apear to be intruding onto ancient ponds and canals zone

louisiana canals, islands and ponds
on this example, oil well access channels apear to be intruding onto ancient ponds and canals zone

ancient canal complex Tabasco, Mexico
Above, this example of canal for comparison is in Amazonia see appropriate links below for further examples.

ancient canal joining orinocco to amazon
Above, this section of ancient engineered canal joins the river Orinocco to the river Amazon

gulf of mexico
Above, an overview of the general Louisiana canal area, a canal system and extensive canal and island/lakes complexes begins at the starting location on the left and continues as far as the starting location on the right. The above examples are from the area of the centre pin.



   See also additional studies,
   rio Parana canals, ponds and islands    rio Paraguay levees canals    rio Parana delta canals   Corrientes
   rio Amazon to Manaus   rio Amazon west from Manaus   rio Orinocco to Amazon canal
   flooding dates on the Altiplano    atlantis canals on the Altiplano    canals gallery   Chipaya canals gallery
   canals in Peru   Caral, Peru containment canal   Tabasco, Mexico canals gallery
   Paria, Oruro containment canals   canal to sea (lago UruUru)   Pantanal    Beni, Moxos gallery

   geoforms - Bolivian altiplano    agricultural variations on the Altiplano    ringed hilltops   earthquakes
   contour forms/irrigation Peru   contourforms/irigation Bolivia    Bombo earthquake route    Bombo route oblique views

   Atlantis stade - Egyptian and Sumerian cubits   Tiwanaku cubits    Peru cubits and calendar    cubits between altiplano canals
   Teotihuacan measuring unit    Teotihuacan citadel measuring units
   Chichen Itza and El Castillo measuring units    Monte Alban, measuring units
   Atlantis stones gallery
   the Tiwanaku soli-lunar calendar    the Muisca calendar     Lost Calendar of the Andes     Decoding the quipu mathematics

   J.M. Allen, May 2011
   webatlantis@hotmail.com

sailing to the lost city of atlantis
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