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Webinar: The Impact of the Mississippi River and Its Delta on the Oceanography, Ecology and Economy of the Gulf of Mexico: A Modern Synthesis

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Tuesday, 25 September 2018, 12:00

Tuesday, September 25, 2018. 12:00 PM. Webinar: The Impact of the Mississippi River and Its Delta on the Oceanography, Ecology and Economy of the Gulf of Mexico: A Modern Synthesis. Alexander Kolker, LSU and Tulane. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here.


Abstract: While it has long been recognized that the Mississippi River is the largest source of freshwater, nutrients, and sediments to the Gulf of Mexico; and that the Mississippi River Delta is the largest geomorphological feature in the Gulf, there have been few efforts to holistically evaluate their impacts across the physical, natural and social sciences. This talk will examine the impacts of the Mississippi River and its delta on the Gulf by coupling synthesis products with a critical examination of decades of research, reflecting both investigator-level analyses and the products of a multi-disciplinary working group that meet over a period of several years. 

We show that the Mississippi River and Mississippi River Delta have a broad influence on the oceanography, ecology and economy of the Gulf. Critical impacts include the development of a plume that can be >25,000 km2 in area at any given time, the flux of nutrients and carbon that can feed large fisheries, can fuel hypoxia, and provide energy to deep sea communities, while providing for a complex human civilization that depends on living and natural resources. The need to further understand these influences is underscored by critical management concerns that range from climate change and fisheries management to coastal resiliency, navigation, commerce and to the restoration the Gulf after the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

About the Speaker: Alex Kolker is a coastal oceanographer; he investigates the physical and anthropogenic activities that drive coastal systems, and focuses on: 1) the hydrology and sedimentology of large rivers and their impacts on the ocean; 2) the impacts of climate variability and change on coastal systems; 3) the geology of coastal wetlands,; and 4) the role of groundwater in river deltas. Alex Kolker currently works at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and teaches in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at Tulane University. Alex is a coastal oceanographer with a PhD in Marine and Atmospheric Science from Stony Brook University, State University of New York. 


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