Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Lodhi, Mahtab

Second Advisor

Giardino, Marco J.

Third Advisor

Peggion, Germana


Southern Louisiana is experiencing a dramatic loss of freshwater wetlands as a result of natural and man-made changes in the landscape. Multitempral remotely sensed data were used to examine the impact of the Caernarvon Freshwater Diversion Structure, built in 1991 to divert water to Breton Sound. Satellite imagery data covering the period from 1974 to 2006 were analyzed by computing several spectral indices including NDVI, VI, IR/R, Sqrt IR/R, T-NDVI, and NDWI, as well as principle component analysis. The resulting enhanced images were classified into two classes, vegetation or open water. The ratios of vegetation to open water were then calculated and the changes graphed over the 1974-2006 timeframe. The results indicated that despite the infusion of freshwater, the open water portion of the Breton Sound area continued to expand, indeed the expansion rate increased from approximately 0.25% per year before construction of Caernarvon to 0.45% per year after construction.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.