In hopes of reversing or slowing the decline of the river delta, water diversions have been built and planned, and natural diversions have formed and been allowed to develop along the lower Mississippi River. In addition to the possibility of building land, these diversions allow for the storage of nutrients within the deposited sediments and provide a buffer from coastal storm surge flooding. Deposition from diversions reduces nutrient loading to the receiving waterbodies. Along the Mississippi River delta in Louisiana, modern planned diversions after 2017 (CPRA 2017) seek to bring sediment-laden water from the river to a receiving area that may once have been part of the historic delta floodplain. Many of the existing diversions discharge directly into open-water bays of the subaqueous delta, however some flood diversions outflow to the subaerial floodplain (Kroes et al. 2015). The effects of diversion outflows to bays are difficult to physically analyze and quantify due to the complex hydrodynamics of subaqueous sites, such as storm-driven resuspension, and tidal currents that mobilize deposited fine sediments downcoast or off the continental shelf. In contrast, flood diversions that outflow to subaerial floodplains offer clear and numerous sediment deposition measurement opportunities and clearly identifiable material to analyze. Flood diversions, while similar, may not exhibit identical depositional environments due to hydraulic gradient and vegetation differences. Because flood diversions draw water from the river at a greater height above the riverbed, they may entrain less bed sediment than non-flood diversions (Karmaker et al. 2010). Previous studies indicate that the large discharges through flood diversion control structures deposit large masses of sediment (Nittrouer et al. 2012) and nutrients and can provide depositional curves that may be extrapolated to other diversions (Kroes et al. 2015).
|Title||Sediment and nutrient deposition over a reconnected floodplain during large-scale river diversions, the Bonnet Carré spillway in 2011, 2016, and 2019|
|Authors||Daniel Kroes, Gregory B. Noe, David Ramirez, Brian Vosburg|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center; Florence Bascom Geoscience Center|