Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Ioannis Georgiou

Second Advisor

Kyle Straub

Third Advisor

John McCorquodale


In this study we assessed growth laws of sub-delta crevasses in the Mississippi River delta plain, experimental laboratory deltas, and compared them to previously studied river dominated large deltas worldwide. Metrics for channel and delta geometry for each system were obtained using a combination of geospatial tools, bathymetric datasets, sediment size, and hydrodynamic observations. Most crevasses and experimental deltas appear to obey delta growth laws suggesting that they exhibit planform metrics similar to larger deltas. However, some channels within each system, exhibit outlier behavior (e.g. asymmetric growth) where channel length is much larger than channel width. Hydrodynamic observations and morphodynamic modeling results, support the role of confinement in governing this response, through direct lateral confinement of the receiving basin width and depth thus guiding channels, and indirect confinement caused by sediment cohesion, whereby natural levees guide the systems asymmetric channel growth.


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