This is a part of the 2015 Fall VPS. For more VPS articles, click here
Category: Forecasting Wetland Cover and Species Habitat
Project Team: Louisiana Ecological Forecasting
Team Location: NASA Jet Propulsion Lab – Pasadena, California
Dr. Cathleen Jones (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Dr. Marc Simard (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
Land loss due to erosion, land subsidence and sea level rise along the Louisiana coast has amounted to 4,900 square kilometers since the 1930s, and an additional 4,500 square kilometers could be lost within 50 years if no action is taken. While most of the coastline is suffering land loss, the Wax Lake Delta has been building at a rate of approximately 5 square kilometers per year since the early 1970s. This study used remotely sensed and in situ data as well as Deltares Delft3D hydrological modeling software to model water flow and sediment transport in the Wax Lake Delta in order to better understand deltaic sediment dynamics and forecast delta formation. Outputs from the model include modeled sediment transport, water flow and an elevation time series. These outputs will be used to inform coastal research by project partners at the Naval Research Laboratory in Mississippi and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, and to direct restoration projects in areas of the coast where marshes are eroding.