Pulsed River Flooding Effects on Sediment Deposition in Breton Sound Estuary, Louisiana

Author: Wheelock, Katherine


Educational level: Master of Science (M.S.)

Discipline: Oceanography and Coastal Sciences

University: Louisiana State University

Abstract: Louisiana's deltaic coast is a dynamic sedimentary environment made vulnerable by Mississippi River channelization, which restricts freshwater, sediment, and nutrient inputs to adjacent estuaries. freshwater diversions now reconnect some estuaries with historic fluvial sources, like Breton Sound basin, which receives Mississippi River suspended loads through the Caernarvon freshwater diversion. The project objectives were to quantify short-term sediment accumulation using sediment traps, evaluate sediment trap effectiveness, and compare long-term deposition using feldspar horizon markers and 210Pb dating to the annual sediment trap deposition. Magnitude and variations of sediment deposition at 14 sites were compared during an 18-month study in the upper 415 km2 of Breton Sound estuary, Louisiana. Short-term dry deposition over sediment traps (t=15d) varied for hydrologic pulsing regimes, averaging 3.143 g/m2/d during non-pulsing periods (

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Keywords: freshwater diversion, sediment traps, Breton Sound, sediment deposition, pulses


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