Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program



Geology and Geophysics

Major Professor

Kulp, Mark

Second Advisor

Totten, Matt

Third Advisor

Penland, Shea


Studies have documented spatially and temporally variable rates of surface subsidence across the Mississippi River delta plain of Louisiana. Variations in patterns and rates of delta plain subsidence may reflect subsurface distribution of compactionprone lithosomes. This research investigates historical changes in the surface geomorphology of the Caillou Bay headland in relation to the distribution of subsurface lithosomes. The stratigraphic framework was developed for the headland, and lithosomes were identified to establish the distribution of different sedimentary units. The geomorphic evolution as indicated by maps was then evaluated in order to locate patterns of shoreline change and wetland loss for the headland. Land loss maps developed were overlain on lithosome contour maps to calculate amounts of land loss overlying each lithosome contour interval. Analysis of results revealed that land loss was not uniform throughout the headland and that land loss patterns for several time periods varied as a function of the thickness of compactionprone lithosomes.


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