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A Revised Delta Cycle Model for the Holocene Deltaic Deposits of South Louisiana, USA

John A. Lopez
University of New Orleans - Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences

The modern processes of the Mississippi River delta and the Holocene record have been described by a succession of workers leading to a general theory on the geologic evolution of a delta development in south Louisiana (Coleman et al, 1998). This has led to a unifying concept of delta development based on the geology of the last 5000 years in south Louisiana, but also has been applied as a model for the ancient record. A widely accepted graphical depiction of the model of Mississippi deltaic evolution was published by Roberts (1997) and subsequently modified by Coleman, et al. (1998). The delta cycle graph includes a single Gaussian-shaped curve to express the growth and decay of the delta as the hydrologic shift of the river distributary occurs. The graphical depiction of this model is now being considered as an historical baseline of geologic processes and potential model for future changes regarding restoration of wetlands). The potential investment of billions of dollars through public funding for coastal restoration warrants that the model be given closer review.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90080©2005 GCAGS 55th Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana