Dr Torbjörn Törnqvist, Dr. Zhixiong Shen, Jennifer Kuykendall, Jonathan Marshak, Austin Nijhuis and Dr. Zhen Li (visiting from East China Normal University) conducted fieldwork near Napoleonville, Louisiana during Spring Break of 2010 to study the stratigraphy of crevasse-splay deposits that were formed when Bayou Lafourche, a former Mississippi River channel, breached its natural levee.
The purpose of the fieldwork is to investigate the sedimentary architecture of a crevasse splay formed in a swamp environment and to take samples which can be used for optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to study wetland sediment accumulation rates in the Mississippi Delta.
The researchers demonstrate through this study that re-introducing Mississippi River sediments through river diversions, a process similar to natural levee crevassing, can potentially save disappearing wetlands from being inundated by sea water.
Re-introducing sediments into swamp-like environments can trap significantly more muddy Mississippi River sediment than in open-water environments, inferred by comparing the lithologic composition of the studied splay with the Wax Lake Delta.
Geology major, Austin Nijhuis, and postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Zhixiong Shen, are pictured taking sediment samples for optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating to study the sediment accumulation rate in the Mississippi Delta.
Professor Törnqvist teaches a field course on the use of drilling equipment to Geology students, Jonathan Marshak and Austin Nijhuis.
Jennifer Kuykendall, Dr. Zhen Li, and Austin Nijhuis are shown logging core samples for dating measurements.
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