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Mississippi River Delta: Land Subsidence and Coastal Erosion

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Document pages: 25 pages

Abstract: The Mississippi River Delta is a major center for transportation, industry, human population and ecosystem services. Critical areas included energy production, navigation, fisheries, flood protection of coastal communities, and restoration of damaged habitats. Complex environmental management in a great river system requires broad-base complex science, engineering and monitoring. A major national and state objective has become the restoration of the Mississippi River Delta that is threatened by subsidence, flooding, storm surges, compaction, oil extraction and gas extraction. The primary objectives of the paper are to document the landscape and geological properties of the Mississippi River Delta which have contributed to the successful resource and economic development of a historically-rich region of North America and to document the natural resource and environmental risks to the Mississippi River Delta. Economic and urban development of the Mississippi River Delta by the oil and gas industry and creation of levees by the USACE has contributed to land subsidence problems. Environmental challenges include land subsidence as a result of the pumping of vast amounts of oil and gas, the lack of sediment deposition in the Mississippi River Delta as a result of a system of levees, coastal erosion impacts of hurricanes, disposal of untreated and treated wastewater, periodic flooding and water pollution.

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