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JUN 11, 2015 8:00 AM PDT

The role of Particle Size in Geological, hydrological and sedimentological controls on wetland loss and gain in the Mississippi River Delta

Speakers
  • Assistant Professor, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
    Biography
      Alex Kolker is an Assistant Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. His research examines the transport of sediment in the coastal zone, patterns and processes associated with subsidence in coastal Louisiana, the flow of groundwater in deltaic systems, and the response of coastal wetlands to climate change.
    • Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, Particle Characterization and Counting business group, Beckman Coulter
      Biography
        Dr. Rhyner is the Senior Strategic Marketing Manager for Beckman Coulter's Particle Characterization and Counting business group. Dr. Rhyner has a broad set of research and business experiences in analytical instrumentation-including laser diffraction, analytical ultracentrifugation, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential, the Coulter Principle, and several other techniques. He has several peer reviewed publications, and earned his PhD at the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He also holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, highest honors (Georgia Tech), and a MBS (UMASS Amherst). Dr. Rhyner has held sequential sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility since joining Beckman Coulter in 2008.

      Abstract

      June 11, 2015, 8:00am PT, 11:00am ET, 3:00pm GMT

                  This talk will demonstrate how an understanding of particle size and embayment geomorphology, when coupled with an understanding of sediment geotechnical properties, can lead add in efforts to understand sediment deposition rates. Such information is critical to evaluating whether, when and where, restoration strategies are most likely to be effective.

                  The Mississippi River Delta is the largest delta in North America, and one of the largest such systems in on Earth. It supports a wealth of biota- including some of the most productive fisheries in the North America, provides an internationally significant pathway for commerce, hosts oil and gas production, and is home to near two million people. However, the system is also in a state of degradation, with land loss cased by a range of factors that include high rates of relative sea-level rise, reduced sediment deposition, canal, invasive species and eutrophication.  The first part of this talk will show that in one key area, subsidence rates have slowed in recent decades, likely as the result of reduced fluid withdrawal. Restoration of the Mississippi River Delta revolves around a multi-faceted strategy that includes the construction of levees, the direct placement of dredge sediment, and partially diverting the flow of the Mississippi River. The second part of this talk will examine natural, and semi-natural settings that serve as analogues for the, "river diversion," that are envisioned as part of the state's Master Plan for coastal restoration.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Understand how particle size and embayment geomorphology, when coupled with an understanding of sediment geotechnical properties, can lead add in efforts to understand sediment deposition rates
      • Understand why particle size and embayment geomorphology is critical to evaluating whether, when and where, restoration strategies are most likely to be effective

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