Satellite image of the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana.

Louisiana Earth Science Quick Facts

Page snapshot: Louisiana State Geologic MapFossil; Rock; Mineral; GemHighest and Lowest Elevations; Places to Visit; and Additional Resources.

Image above: Satellite image of the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana. Image by NASA (Wikimedia Commons; public domain).

Geologic Map of Louisiana

Geologic map of Louisiana with physiographic regions identified.

Geologic map of Louisiana showing maximum ages of mappable units. Image by Jonathan R. Hendricks for the Earth@Home project developed using QGIS and USGS data (public domain) from Fenneman and Johnson (1946) and Horton et al. (2017).

Louisiana State Fossil: Palmoxylon 

The state fossil of Louisiana is Oligocene Palmoxylon, a palm.

Louisiana State Rock: None

Louisiana does not have an official state rock. What do you think it should be? Answer in the comments below!

Louisiana State Mineral: Agate

Agate found in Louisiana today was originally formed in the limestones of the central U.S., where it precipitated from silica-rich liquids. After erosion released it from its original bedrock, the banded stone was carried into the state by ancient rivers.

Louisiana State Gem: Eastern Oyster Shell

The designated state “gem” is eastern oyster shell.

Louisiana's Highest and Lowest Elevations

Topographic map of Louisiana.

Topographic map of Louisiana; dark greens indicate lower elevation, lighter greens higher elevation. Topographic data derived from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM GL3) Global 90m (SRTM_GL3) (Farr, T. G., and M. Kobrick, 2000, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission produces a wealth of data. Eos Trans. AGU, 81:583-583.). Image created by Jonathan R. Hendricks for the Earth@Home project.

Highest Elevation: Driskill Mountain

At an elevation of 163 meters (535 feet), Driskill Mountain might more properly be called a hill. This landform, located in north central Louisiana, was shaped by the erosion of unconsolidated Paleogene sediments.

Photograph of the summit of Driskill Mountain, Louisiana, which appears as a nearly flat piece of forested land.

The summit of Driskill Mountain, Louisiana. Photograph by Jimmy Emerson (Flickr; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license).

Lowest Elevation: New Orleans

The state’s lowest point lies within the city of New Orleans, at 2 meters (6.5 feet) below sea level—a series of levees protect the city from being submerged.

Photograph of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photograph by Wilfried Vogel (Flickr; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license; image resized).

Places to Visit

Monroe Museum of Natural History

University of Louisiana, Monroe.

Visit website

Additional resources

Learn more about the Earth science of Louisiana and the surrounding region on Earth@Home.

Simple map showing the five different regions of the South Central United States.

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