Study: Southern Louisiana is sinking

December 5, 2005

A Louisiana State University scientist says southern Louisiana is sinking and restoring flooded marshes to protect the state's Gulf coast is futile.

LSU researcher Roy Dokka says Louisiana coastal areas are sinking 2 to 4 feet since 1950, with some sections, including New Orleans, sinking 2 inches a year, the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate reported Monday.

Using GPS and other methods, Dokka's says he's found the Earth's crust beneath the Mississippi River delta is bending under the weight of the material the river has dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.

He said that means the state's push to rebuild wetlands as hurricane protection is futile and, while rebuilding marshes for other reasons may be fine, it won't provide hurricane protection.

"Obviously, you have to build a levee," he told the Advocate, noting such levees must be built high enough to provide Category 5 hurricane protection well into the future as the land they're built upon continues to sink.

Not all scientists concur with Dokka's conclusions, but officials told the newspaper they are listening to what he has to say.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Rising Sea Greater Danger to Louisiana than Sinking Land

Related Stories

Oceanic ecosystem in the wake of hurricanes

October 2, 2005

A federal program to rebuild the ecosystems of the Louisiana Delta at the mouth of the Mississippi River took a hit last month when Hurricane Katrina roared through the gulf. The Golden Meadow Plant Materials Center, which ...

Study: Water-sucking industry a factor as New Orleans sinks

May 19, 2016

Geologists have long known that New Orleans is slowly sinking—but now, scientists using radar technology say groundwater sucked up by industrial facilities such as a power plant, oil refineries and chemical complexes may ...

Recommended for you

Mathematical framework explains diverse plant stem forms

March 23, 2017

It is well known that as plants grow, their stems and shoots respond to outside signals like light and gravity. But if plants all have similar stimuli, why are there so many different plant shapes? Why does a weeping willow ...

Team refines filters for greener natural gas

March 23, 2017

Natural gas producers want to draw all the methane they can from a well while sequestering as much carbon dioxide as possible, and could use filters that optimize either carbon capture or methane flow. No single filter will ...

Protecting web users' privacy

March 23, 2017

Most website visits these days entail a database query—to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses.

Chemists ID catalytic 'key' for converting CO2 to methanol

March 23, 2017

Capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and converting it to useful chemicals such as methanol could reduce both pollution and our dependence on petroleum products. So scientists are intensely interested in the catalysts that facilitate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.