Title

REVERSAL OF COASTAL EROSION BY RAPID SEDIMENTATION: THE ATCHAFALAYA DELTA (SOUTH-CENTRAL LOUISIANA).

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

1-1-1982

Abstract

In early 1950s Atchafalaya Bay began experiencing sedimentation, which marked the initiation of a new major delta lobe in the Mississippi River Delta complex. Systematic monitoring of changes within the delta system over the last 4 years has shown that delta growth responds directly to flood volume and duration. The years 1976 through 1978 can be characterized as average in terms of discharge. The presence of deltas at Lower Atchafalaya River and Wax Lake outlets has elevated water levels near the coast during floods (backwater effect), causing sediment-rich water to be transported into surrounding marshes. A similar response results from setup prior to cold-front passage. The net effect is marsh aggradation and restoration in flood areas. Rapid sedimentation since the 1950s has reversed the traditional trend of coastal erosion in the vicinity of Atchafalaya Bay and is now initiating a new growth phase of the downdrift chenier plain.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

United States, Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Biological Services, (Technical Report) FWS/OB

First Page

214

Last Page

231

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