New study shows seafloor erosion now occurring like coastal land loss

phys.org | 4/3/2018 | Staff
marisha (Posted by) Level 3
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Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast. During the 20th century, thousands of dams were built on Mississippi River tributaries stopping the flow of fine silt, clay and other sediment from reaching the delta and seafloor to offset erosion. Without this sediment, land —in the form of wetlands and the seafloor— is lost, which threatens offshore and inland infrastructure in the face of waves, hurricanes and surge, or flooding, from storms. Land loss also affects marine plants and animals as well as how pollution is absorbed and broken down. In this new comprehensive study, scientists have mapped the retreat of the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. This research was published recently in the journal Marine Geology.

"Imagine this as an underwater extension of land loss that we see at the surface. This is a big deal because it can affect so many processes that occur from the coast to the open ocean including marine organisms' lifecycles and underwater landslides," said lead author San Diego State University Assistant Professor Jillian Maloney, who conducted this research as a post-doctoral researcher at LSU.

Scientists - Charts - Data - Research - Oil

The scientists used historic nautical charts, data from academic research and the oil and gas industry as well as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration underwater mapping data collected...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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