Large-Scale Coastal Evolution of Louisiana's Barrier Islands

by Jeffrey H. List, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, United States,
Bruce E. Jaffe, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, United States,
Asbury H. Sallenger, Jr., U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments

Abstract: The prediction of large-scale coastal change is an extremely important, but distant goal. Here we describe some of our initial efforts in this direction, using historical bathymetric information along a 150 km reach of the rapidly evolving barrier island coast of Louisiana. Preliminary results suggest that the relative sea level rise rate, though extremely high in the area, has played a secondary role in coastal erosion over the last 100 years, with longshore transport of sand-sized sediment being the primary cause. Prediction of future conditions is hampered by a general lack of erosion processes understanding; however, an examination of the changing volumes of sand stored in a large ebb-tidal delta system suggests a continued high rate of shoreline retreat driven by the longshore re-distribution of sand.

Subject Headings: Barrier islands | Coastal environment | Littoral drift | Sand (hydraulic) | Sediment transport | Erosion | Sea water | North America | Louisiana | United States

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