Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms

Geophysical Research Letters
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

We evaluate the relative impact of petroleum spill and storm surge on near-shore wetland loss by quantifying the lateral movement of coastal shores in upper Barataria Bay, Louisiana (USA), between June 2009 and October 2012, a study period that extends from the year prior to the Deepwater Horizon spill to 2.5 years following the spill. We document a distinctly different pattern of shoreline loss in the 2 years following the spill, both from that observed in the year prior to the spill, during which there was no major cyclonic storm, and from change related to Hurricane Isaac, which made landfall in August 2012. Shoreline erosion following oiling was far more spatially extensive and included loss in areas protected from wave-induced erosion. We conclude that petroleum exposure can substantially increase shoreline recession particularly in areas protected from storm-induced degradation and disproportionally alters small oil-exposed barrier islands relative to natural erosion.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL070624
Volume 43
Issue 22
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 11,652
Last page 11,660
Country United States
State Louisiana