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Water 2016, 8(2), 38; doi:10.3390/w8020038

Sediment Deposition at the Caernarvon Crevasse during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: Implications for Coastal Restoration

1
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2
Department of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Y. Jun Xu
Received: 4 November 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 25 January 2016
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Abstract

During the 1927 Mississippi flood, the levee was dynamited downstream of New Orleans creating a 2 km wide crevasse that inundated the Breton Sound estuary and deposited a crevasse splay of about 130 km2. We measured sediment deposition in the splay that consisted of a silty-clay layer bounded by aged peat below and living roots above. Based on coring, we developed a map of the crevasse splay. The clay layer ranged from 2 to 42 cm thick and occurred 24 to 55 cm below the surface. Bulk density of the clay layer decreased and soil organic matter increased with distance from the river. 210Pbexcess and 137Cs dating an age of ~1926–1929 for the top of the layer. During the flood event, deposition was at least 22 mm·month−1—10 times the annual post-1927 deposition. The crevasse splay captured from 55% to 75% of suspended sediments that flowed in from the river. The 1927 crevasse deposition shows how pulsed flooding can enhance sediment capture efficiency and deposition and serves as an example for large planned diversions for Mississippi delta restoration. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mississippi delta restoration; diversions; 1927 flood; Breton Sound Mississippi delta restoration; diversions; 1927 flood; Breton Sound
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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Day, J.W.; Cable, J.E.; Lane, R.R.; Kemp, G.P. Sediment Deposition at the Caernarvon Crevasse during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927: Implications for Coastal Restoration. Water 2016, 8, 38.

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