Processes Affecting Coastal Wetland Loss in the Louisiana Deltaic Plain

by S. Jeffress Williams, U.S.`Geological Survey, Reston, United States,
Shea Penland, U.S.`Geological Survey, Reston, United States,
Harry H. Roberts, U.S.`Geological Survey, Reston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93


Nowhere are the problems of coastal wetland loss more serious and dramatic than in the Mississippi River deltaic plain region of south-central Louisiana. In that area, rates of shoreline erosion of 20 m.yr and loss of land area of up to 75 km/yr result from a complex combination of natural (delta switching, subsidence, sea-level rise, storms) and human (flood control, navigation, oil and gas development, land reclamation) factors. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the National Coastal Geology Program, has undertaken joint filed investigations with Federal, State, and university partners. The objective of these long-term studies is to gather and interpret baseline information in order to improve our scientific understanding of the critical processes and responses responsible for creation, maintenance, and deterioration of coastal wetlands.

Subject Headings: Coastal processes | Wetlands (coastal) | Land reclamation | Land subsidence | Coastal plains | Land use | Human factors | Geology | Louisiana | United States | Mississippi River

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