Marine Geology & Geophysics

Following the early onshore research dealing with the geomorphology of coastal land forms and process-oriented sedimentology, Coastal Studies Institute researchers started investigating the marine extensions of coastal depositional systems, especially deltas and reefs. Driven largely by the availability of new technology such as side-scan sonar and high resolution seismic, CSI researchers developed a marine geology program that started with studies of the offshore Mississippi River delta and since has encompassed other domestic as well as foreign study sites. In additional , marine geology studies have expanded beyond the continental shelf to continental slope and deep basin floor environments. Notable studies conducted by CSI researches in the realm of marine geology include:

  • the investigation of delta front instability processes in the modern Mississippi River delta,
  • the study of carbonate reefs and shelf-slope sedimentary processes at numerous sites throughout the Caribbean region,
  • studies of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentary systems including the Nile Delta, northern Red Sea, Nicaragua's eastern Caribbean shelf, eastern Java Sea, and offshore Mahakam Delta,
  • a study of Mississippi Fan,
  • on-going investigations of the impacts of fluid and gas, and
  • investigations of gas hydrate occurrence in the Gulf of Mexico continental slope province.

In addition to the on-going marine geology studies of continental shelf and slope areas, CSI researchers are actively collecting high resolution acoustic data, vibracores, box cores, and geotechnical data from Louisiana's shallow lakes and bays. This shallow water marine geology program is designed to collect critical data sets to prove our understanding of the changes taking place in Louisiana's coastal water bottoms and associated marshlands. This program supports the overall effort to understand and mitigate Louisiana's enormous coastal land loss problem.

photo: researchers in the oceanphoto: infrared Atchafalaya Lakes deltasillustration: schematic diagram