Project Report

th Remote Sensing Techniques Timothy Rosen, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Louisiana State University and Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 The Yellow River Delta and Atchafalaya River Delta are both anthropogenically influenced deltas that are part of watersheds that have undergone large engineering projects and land use/cover changes. The Yellow River has seen dramatic declines in suspended sediment load over the past two decades due to soil conservation and the construction of dams. This has altered the river from large suspended sediment loads that exceeded 1 billion metric tons annually to the current state of 150 million metric tons annually. The Atchafalaya River is the largest distributary of the Mississippi River and contains an actively growing delta. This delta has been growing even with suspended sediment reduction of the Mississippi River from approximately 400 million metric tons annually before the 1950s to 145 million metric tons currently. This reduction of sediment is due to river engineering (dams, meander cutoffs, bank stabilization) and soil conservation practices. This study had three main objectives; (1) compare delta development (growth/erosion) in two well-known and anthropogenically altered river basins, (2) use remotely sensed images to complete land classification of the deltas to see how vegetation affects stabilization of delta lobes, and (3) create an international partnership of mutual learning and research. These objectives were completed successfully with help from researchers at Peking University, Beijing, PR China. Preliminary results suggest that delta growth has been influenced by suspended sediment load, but other regional factors play a significant role in development. Vegetation also has some influence in stabilizing delta surface. This study provides important information for land managers both in the United States of America and PR China on long-term suspended sediment and vegetation impacts on delta growth.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
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Carter Kimsey
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Rosen Timothy
Baton Rouge
United States
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