New study shows seafloor #erosion now occurring like coastal land loss
Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast. During the 20th century, thousands of dams were built on Mississippi River tributaries stopping the flow of fine silt, clay and other sediment from reaching the delta and seafloor to offset erosion. Without this sediment, land —in the form of wetlands and the seafloor— is lost, which threatens offshore and inland infrastructure in the face of waves, hurricanes and surge, or flooding, from storms. Land loss also affects marine plants and animals as well as how #pollution is absorbed and broken down. In this new comprehensive study, scientists have mapped the retreat of the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. This research was published recently in the journal Marine Geology.
“Given the similarities between the Mississippi River Delta and river systems worldwide, we expect other major delta systems are entering decline. This has implications for delta ecosystems and biological, geological and chemical processes worldwide,”