Water Institute Develops Sediment Capture Methodology

Water Institute scientists Mead Allison, director of physical processes and sediment systems, and Ehab Meselhe, director of natural systems modeling and monitoring, are leading research efforts focused on configuring river diversion projects in order to optimize sediment capture, which will help create and sustain coastal wetlands. 

Their findings will be published in Water Resources Management’s September 2014 edition, Volume 28, No. 12.

Joining Allison and Meselhe as an author of the article, “Diversion of Mississippi River Water Downstream of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA to Maximize Sediment Capture and Ameliorate Coastal Land Loss,” is Michael T. Ramirez, Ph.D. student at Tulane University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

The idea to couple collection and predictive modeling is an example of a larger Water Institute effort to integrate applied research and further understand current coastal dynamics – part of the Institute’s emphasis on linking knowledge to action.

“Having our work peer-reviewed and published in prominent journals continues to add to the scientific credibility of our work at The Water Institute,” Allison said. “These observational studies and this research will be critical in providing information that will lead to more informed decisions regarding coastal restoration projects.”

Extensive boat-based field data collection and analytical modeling is used to compare and calibrate results of numerical simulations of river hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics created by The Water Institute.

This kind of fieldwork is made possible by The Water Institute’s diverse suite of instrumentation, boats and tow vehicles that operate in highly dynamic environments, like the Mississippi River and other coastal environments throughout the region.

Press Release, August 26, 2014

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