Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Earth and Environmental Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Dr. Ioannis Georgiou

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Kulp

Third Advisor

Dr. John Lopez


In 2012, a breach in a natural levee occurred on the Mississippi River near the Bohemian Spillway, forming a new distributary named Mardi Gras Pass. Since its genesis, scientists from local universities and NGOs have been regularly performing bathymetric and bank surveys to track the channel’s expansion, as well as discharge surveys throughout the receiving basin. This study developed and implemented a hindcast simulation based on this wealth of data utilizing the morpho- and hydrodynamic model, Delft3D. This model was then used to create a 20-year forecast and a 1-year simulation without tidal and subtidal forces. The results demonstrated that tides were a major influence on water levels, discharge rates, and sedimentation patterns. The forecast suggested that an avulsion is not likely in the near future. However, channel reorganizing within the floodplain occurred as preferential flow and deposition trends developed based on the physical parameters determined by the hindcast.


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