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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT
New Findings Account for Unstable Ground Image 2
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New Findings Account for Unstable Ground (Image 2)

July 27, 2010
Louisiana coastal areas in green are currently experiencing loss of wetlands due to rising sea level. New research shows that the ground beneath much of the Mississippi Delta has been stable for the past 8,000 years, challenging the notion that sinking of the earth is the cause of Louisiana's coastal geology problems and suggesting instead that compaction of the shallowest and most recently formed delta sediments is the main cause of subsidence in that area.

These findings could have major implications for rebuilding plans that are currently being debated and over the long term, comprehensive understanding of subsidence will better support rational coastal management and successful urban and land-use planning for all low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast.