Louisiana Coastal Surveillance
PI : Prof Nan Walker
Mississippi River Diversions are an important component of coastal restoration efforts. Diversions introduce freshwater, sediment, and nutrients to the coast that are crucial for combating saltwater intrusion, marsh deterioration and land-loss.
At the ESL, image products have been developed which enable real-time and long-term surveillance of environmental parameters including sea surface temperature, suspended sediments, water mass color/type, and chlorophyll-a estimates. River water can be detected in our imagery as it is relatively low in temperature and sediment-rich. Time sequence images of the Mississippi River flood event of 2011 are also available. Algal blooms typically develop from the introduction of river borne nutrients into lakes/bays and the coastal ocean. The high levels of phytoplankton in tandem with strong stratification on the Louisiana shelf leads to the development of hypoxia each summer (Walker and Rabalais, 2006).