Implications of accelerated sea-level rise on Louisiana coastal environments

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Conference Proceeding

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Natural and human-induced processes have combined to produce high rates of relative sea-level rise and coastal land loss in Louisiana. This paper presents historical trends in sea-level rise and the implication of predicted accelerated rise scenarios on Louisiana's coastal environments. Mean eustatic sea-level in the Gulf of Mexico is 0.23 cm/yr. In Louisiana, relative sea-level rise, which combines eustacy and subsidence, averages from 0.50 cm/yr in the chenier plain to 1.0 cm/yr in the delta plain. Subsidence due to the compaction of Holocene sediments is believed to be the major component influencing these high rates of rise. Subsidence contributes up to 80% of the observed relative sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts the rate of sea-level rise to increase over the next century due to global climate change. If these predictions are accurate, a dramatic increase in the coastal land loss conditions in Louisiana can be expected.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Coastal Sediments '91; Volume 2

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