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Influence of the Atchafalaya River on recent evolution of the chenier-plain inner continental shelf, northern Gulf of Mexico

Continental Shelf Research

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2004.09.002

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Abstract

This study examines the influence of the Atchafalaya River, a major distributary of the Mississippi River, on stratigraphic evolution of the inner continental shelf in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Sedimentary, geochemical, and shallow acoustic data are used to identify the western limit of the distal Atchafalaya subaqueous delta, and to estimate the proportion of the Atchafalaya River's sediment load that accumulates on the inner shelf seaward of Louisiana's chenier-plain coast. The results demonstrate a link between sedimentary facies distribution on the inner shelf and patterns of shoreline accretion and retreat on the chenier plain. Mudflat progradation on the eastern chenier-plain coast corresponds to the location of deltaic mud accumulation on the inner shelf. On the central chenier-plain shelf, west of the subaqueous delta, relict sediment is exposed that was originally deposited between ???1200 and 600 years BP during activity of the Lafourche lobe of the Mississippi Delta complex. Mass-balance calculations indicate that the eastern chenier-plain inner shelf and coastal zone form a sink for 7??2% of the sediment load carried by the Atchafalaya River. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Influence of the Atchafalaya River on recent evolution of the chenier-plain inner continental shelf, northern Gulf of Mexico
Series title:
Continental Shelf Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.csr.2004.09.002
Volume
25
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Continental Shelf Research
First page:
91
Last page:
112
Number of Pages:
22