Effect of hydrologic management on marsh surface sediment deposition in coastal Louisiana

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High rates of coastal land loss in Louisiana have prompted efforts to maintain or restore coastal wetland habitats, and structural management of marsh hydrology is one of a number of approaches that has been adopted. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hydrologic management measures on marsh-surface sediment deposition in the Mississippi deltaic plain. Four impoundments, ranging in size from 50 ha to 177 ha and similarly sized control sites were included in the study. At each site, marsh-surface sediment traps were collected approximately biweekly for 3.5 yr to measure changes in sediment deposition. There was no significant difference in sediment deposition between any of the impoundment and control sites during the premanagement period. The results show no significant difference in marsh-surface sediment deposition between management year 1992–1993 and management year 1994–1995, but management year 1993–1994 had significantly lower sediment deposition than either the first or the last year of the study. Management year 1992–1993 showed the highest sediment deposition when it was assessed across all basins, areas, and sites, and this high rate of deposition is accounted for by the impact of Hurricane Andrew. For all management years there were significant differences between impoundment and control sites, with control sites showing higher rates of marsh surface sediment deposition than impoundments. No clear pattern was identified concerning the influence of various types of hydrologic management on rates of sediment deposition. This reduction in sediment deposition indicated that the areas under management in this study are receiving insufficient inorganic sediment deposition to keep pace with sea-level rise.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effect of hydrologic management on marsh surface sediment deposition in coastal Louisiana
Series title Estuaries
DOI 10.2307/1352345
Volume 20
Issue 2
Year Published 1997
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 301
Last page 311
Country United States
State Louisiana
Other Geospatial Barataria Basin, Terrebonne Basin
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