AOS Seminar: To the Bayou and Back: Investigating the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean

02/02/2017 - 4:00pm
Speiss Hall 330
Event Description: 

Please join us for the following AOS Seminar on Thursday, February 2nd at 4:00PM in Spiess Hall Room 330:


Speaker: Dr. Jillian Maloney, SDSU


"To the Bayou and Back: Investigating the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean"



I will discuss my experience as a post-doctoral researcher at Louisiana State University and as an Assistant Professor at San Diego State University with a focus on the primary research projects conducted at each institution. First, subaqueous mudslides are known to be ubiquitous across the Mississippi River delta front (MRDF) and have been identified as a hazard to offshore infrastructure. Among other factors, sediment accumulation rates and patterns play an important role in governing the stability of delta front sediment. High sedimentation rates result in underconsolidation, slope steepening, and increased biogenic gas production, which are all known to decrease stability. In recent history, the sediment load of the Mississippi River has decreased by ~50% due to anthropogenic modifications upstream. The impact of this decreased sediment load on MRDF mudslide dynamics has yet to be examined. We compiled MRDF bathymetric datasets, including historical charts, industry and academic surveys, and NOAA data, collected between 1764 and 2009, in order to identify historic trends in sedimentation patterns and found major decreases in delta progradation and sediment accumulation offshore. These changes could have implications for subaqueous landslide hazards.

Second, off the Pacific Coast of North America, rising postglacial sea levels have submerged a vast paleolandscape that almost certainly contains inundated terrestrial archaeological resources. Few submerged sites have been identified and little ground-truthing has been done. Our research synthesizes geological and geophysical data from offshore southern California and central Oregon in order to refine local sea-level models, reconstruct paleolandscapes, and identify features that could be associated with cultural resources.


Snacks and refreshments will be available at 4:00 pm. Please bring your own cup.

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