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Environmental Geology and Water Sciences

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 57–64 | Cite as

Marsh aggradation and sediment distribution along rapidly submerging Louisiana gulf coast

  • R. D. Delaune
  • W. H. PatrickJr.
  • C. J. Smith
Article

Abstract

A coastwide study of the relationship between marsh aggradation and water level changes along the rapidly deteriorating Louisiana gulf coast was conducted. Rate of vertical marsh accretion determined from137Cs dating was compared to water level changes or submergence. Results identified marsh locations that are not keeping pace with submergence. Coastwide vertical accretion rates on the order of 0.7–0.8 cm/yr are not sufficient to keep pace with water level increases occurring at rates in most locations of over 1.0 cm/yr. Submergence rates were four to five times greater than eustatic sea level change for the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana gulf coast marshes are likely to continue deteriorating unless means are implemented for distributing Mississippi River sediment to the marsh. It is estimated that sediment equivalent to less than 10 percent of the present annual suspended load of the Mississippi would provide enough sediment for marsh accretionary processes to compensate for submergence or water level increase.

Keywords

Accretion Rate Water Level Change Suspended Load Coast Marsh Vertical Accretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. Delaune
    • 1
  • W. H. PatrickJr.
    • 1
  • C. J. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute Center for Wetland ResourcesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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