Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Mark Kulp

Second Advisor

Ioannis Georgiou

Third Advisor

Martin O'Connell


Louisiana’s wetlands are losing land in response to sea level changes, anthropogenic influences and natural marine processes. Historical satellite image analysis reveals that between 2005 and 2015, fifteen tidal creeks in Barataria Bay, Louisiana eroded at the rate of 1.80 m/yr (± 1.98 m), and the open water area behind these creeks enlarged at the rate of 530.00 m2/yr (± 204.80 m2). This research revealed that selected tidal creeks within the estuary have cross-sectional areas larger (2639% larger) than established ocean-inlet equilibrium models would predict. This work suggests that tidal prism to tidal creek cross-sectional area relationships in Barataria Bay are most strongly shaped by creek exposure to waves and secondarily by tide range and currents. A trend of increased inlet erosion rates due to large fetch distances is evident, but impacts from storm driven subtidal variations also play an important role.


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