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Water 2016, 8(1), 26; doi:10.3390/w8010026

Implications of Texture and Erodibility for Sediment Retention in Receiving Basins of Coastal Louisiana Diversions

1
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2
Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
3
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
4
State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Y. Jun Xu, Nina Lam and Kam-biu Liu
Received: 15 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
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Abstract

Although the Mississippi River deltaic plain has been the subject of abundant research over recent decades, there is a paucity of data concerning field measurement of sediment erodibility in Louisiana estuaries. Two contrasting receiving basins for active diversions were studied: West Bay on the western part of Mississippi River Delta and Big Mar, which is the receiving basin for the Caernarvon freshwater diversion. Push cores and water samples were collected at six stations in West Bay and six stations in Big Mar. The average erodibility of Big Mar sediment was similar to that of Louisiana shelf sediment, but was higher than that of West Bay. Critical shear stress to suspend sediment in both West Bay and Big Mar receiving basins was around 0.2 Pa. A synthesis of 1191 laser grain size data from surficial and down-core sediment reveals that silt (4–63 μm) is the largest fraction of retained sediment in receiving basins, larger than the total of sand (>63 μm) and clay (<4 μm). It is suggested that preferential delivery of fine grained sediment to more landward and protected receiving basins would enhance mud retention. In addition, small fetch sizes and fragmentation of large receiving basins are favorable for sediment retention. View Full-Text
Keywords: erodibility; texture; sediment retention; Louisiana coast; Mississippi delta erodibility; texture; sediment retention; Louisiana coast; Mississippi delta
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, K.; Bentley, S.J.; Robichaux, P.; Sha, X.; Yang, H. Implications of Texture and Erodibility for Sediment Retention in Receiving Basins of Coastal Louisiana Diversions. Water 2016, 8, 26.

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