Subaqueous Sediment Instabilities in the Offshore Mississippi River Delta
J. M. Coleman, D. B. Prior, 1981. "Subaqueous Sediment Instabilities in the Offshore Mississippi River Delta", Offshore Geologic Hazards: A Short Course Presented at Rice University, May 2-3, 1981 for the Offshore Technology Conference, Arnold Bouma, Dwight Sangrey, James Coleman, David Prior, Anita Trippet, Wayne Dunlap, James Hooper
Download citation file:
The Mississippi River delta has stimulated a wide variety of geological, hydrological, and geomorphological research. In the 1950s, offshore exploration began actively in the shallow-water areas off the delta, and data from soil foundation borings and hydrographic surveys were utilized to develop the first regional assessment of the geological setting (Fisk et al., 1954; Fisk and McClelland, 1959; Shepard, 1955). In the 1960s, research scientists of the Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, began conducting systematic research studies of the hydrodynamic aspects of the lower delta, sedimentation processes and patterns, and the geologic framework (Morgan, 1961; Morgan et al., 1963; Coleman and Gagliano, 1964; Coleman and Wright, 1975; Wright and Coleman, 1974). In 1969, during Hurricane Camille, two offshore platforms were destroyed and one was severely damaged by submarine landslides (Sterling and Strohbeck, 1973; Bea et al., 1975). After this hurricane, a considerable amount of research on the offshore region of the Mississippi Delta was initiated by the petroleum industry, consulting firms, governmental agencies, and universities.
In 1974, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Corpus Christi, Texas; the Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University (LSU); and Texas A and M University began a series of cooperative research projects in the Outer Continental Shelf off the delta to a) establish the regional geologic framework of the delta, b) map the distribution and describe the variety of types of subaqueous instabilities, c) characterize the soil properties and their behavior under various stresses, and d) determine the mechanisms responsible for the subaqueous sediment failures.