The Holocene geomorphic history of southeastern Louisiana's middle Amite River is recorded in the stratigraphy of three alloformations, identified in decreasing age as the Watson (WAT), Denham Springs (DS), and Magnolia Bridge (MAG). The WAT meander belt formed by at least 9000 yr B.P., when sea level was lower and the Amite River was tributary to a larger ancestral drainage basin. The DS became an active meander belt by at least 3000 yr B.P., in response to relative sea-level rise and eastward progradation of the Mississippi River delta plain. The MAG developed its meander belt, in part, during the European settlement of the drainage basin, and is now attempting to adjust to modern anthropogenic influences. Geomorphic influences on the middle Amite River floodplain have temporal and spatial components that induce regional- and local-scale effects. Regional extrinsic influences caused meander belt avulsion that produced alloformations. However, local influences produced intrinsic geomorphic thresholds that modified channel morphology within a meander belt but did not induce alloformation development. Base-level influences of the relative sea-level rise and the Mississippi River delta plain were so dominant that the effects of possible climate change were not recognized in the Holocene Amite River system.
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Influences of Relative Sea-Level Rise and Mississippi River Delta Plain Evolution on the Holocene Middle Amite River, Southeastern Louisiana