Center for River Studies

LSU Center for River Studies conducts research on the world’s major rivers with a specific focus on the Mississippi River. We train the next generation of engineers, geologists and river experts.

LSU Center for River Studies is located on the Baton Rouge Water Campus near the banks of the Mississippi River. It houses one of the world's largest movable bed physical models - the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model.

The river model is 10,000 square feet and based on the topography and bathymetry of the Mississippi River Delta covering southeast Louisiana. Pumps are used to control the water and sediment injection. More than 18 acoustic sensors coincide with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers river gages on the Mississippi River and measure water levels in the model river. Twenty high-definition projectors illuminate the model and bring the river and coast to life.

The model is able to replicate the flow, water levels and sediment (sand) transport of the river, where one year of the Mississippi River is simulated in one hour. Scientists, engineers and students can see, experience and conduct research using this state-of-the-art model.

LSU Center for River Studies is made possible through a partnership with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, or CPRA. The center’s interactive exhibit space offers opportunities for guests of all ages to learn more about the history of the Mississippi River, Louisiana’s disappearing wetlands, and ongoing coastal restoration projects across the coast. 

photo: water campus logo
photo: cpra logo
photo: coastal sustainability logo

More Information

To request a visit or for questions, please contact


LSU Center for River Studies is located on The Water Campus.

100 Terrace Ave.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Parking is available adjacent to the center on Arches Street as well as in the parking lot on Water Street.


The center is led by Director Clint Willson, the Mike N. Dooley Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at LSU.