Articles | Volume 5, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 387–397, 2017
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 387–397, 2017

Research article 12 Jul 2017

Research article | 12 Jul 2017

Efficient retention of mud drives land building on the Mississippi Delta plain

Christopher R. Esposito et al.

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Cited articles

Allison, M. A., Biedenharn, D. S., and Little, C. D.: Suspended Sediment Loads and Tributary Inputs In The Mississippi River Below St. Louis, MO, 1990–2013: A Comparison With the Keown et al. (1981) report, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MS, USA, in review, 2017.
Allison, M. A. and Meselhe, E. A.: The use of large water and sediment diversions in the lower Mississippi River (Louisiana) for coastal restoration, J. Hydrol., 387, 346–360,, 2010.
Allison, M. A., Kuehl, S. A., Martin, T. C., and Hassan, A.: Importance of flood-plain sedimentation for river sediment budgets and terrigenous input to the oceans: Insights from the Brahmaputra-Jamuna River, Geology, 26, 175–178,<0175:IOFPSF>2.3.CO;2, 1998.
Allison, M. A., Demas, C. R., Ebersole, B. A., Kleiss, B. A., Little, C. D., Meselhe, E. A., Powell, N. J., Pratt, T. C., and Vosburg, B. M.: A water and sediment budget for the lower Mississippi–Atchafalaya River in flood years 2008–2010: Implications for sediment discharge to the oceans and coastal restoration in Louisiana, J. Hydrol., 432–433, 84–97,, 2012.
Allison, M. A., Vosburg, B. M., Ramirez, M. T., and Meselhe, E. A.: Mississippi River channel response to the Bonnet Carré Spillway opening in the 2011 flood and its implications for the design and operation of river diversions, J. Hydrol., 477, 104–118,, 2013.
Short summary
Our work presents a novel method of measuring the capacity of deltaic landforms to trap and retain river-borne sediments, and we demonstrate that sediment retention is closely connected to sedimentary composition. Our results, supported by a unique high-resolution coring dataset in a major crevasse splay, show that finer sediments are a much larger component of the Mississippi Delta than is often acknowledged and that their abundance indicates exceptionally high rates of sediment retention.