Semester of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science (MS)


Coastal & Ecological Engineering

Document Type



Louisiana’s coast is disappearing at an alarming rate. Erosion, subsidence, sea level rise, and the devastating impacts from hurricanes have contributed to the loss of thousands of square miles of land that was once a thriving ecosystem. The Louisiana government is taking action to help protect and restore these coastal habitats, which are a home to some two million people and numerous species of animals, birds, and fish. The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion is a new type of project to help create land in Barataria Basin. Conceptually, the diversion is designed to use the available sediment and stream power provided by the Mississippi River to build land in Barataria Basin. This would be achieved by conveying that sediment-laden water from the River to the Basin using the Diversion’s Conveyance Channel. Using a 1:65 scale physical model, the sediment transport and stream power characteristics were tested for a number of different flow rates and sand concentrations. The objectives of this thesis are to study how these flow and sediment concentration variations affect the stream power and friction in the Conveyance Channel Model. The results show that sediment introduction reduces the friction in the riprap-lined channel. They also show that flows of 40,000 CFS in the prototype diversion do not have enough stream power to transport sand down the channel. The 75,000 CFS flow rate effectively transports sand sized sediment up to the maximum tested concentration. Additionally, test results showed that flow rates of 75,000 CFS can transport almost twice the sediment for only 1.3x the flow rate when compared to the 57,500 CFS test over the same time frame and sediment concentration. These results are intended to help engineers and operators of the prototype diversion to maximize the efficacy of the diversion when it is in operation.

Committee Chair

Willson, Clint