Deltaic and Estuarine Systems (February 11 & 13)

With deltas and estuaries we can apply all those principles of aquatic sedimentation we have learned, and add a few more. The Danube Delta looks like an interesting place to visit, even if it is under siege from pollution and over-fishing. The Niger Delta is a much more socially-troubled place because it is so rich in petroleum. The Ganges Delta is gorgeous from space. Has there ever been a more perfect delta than that of the Nile River? (An image from the European Space Agency.) This small site from the USGS on the San Francisco Bay and Delta region is interesting for both the deltaic and estuarine issues. We cannot, of course, forget America’s greatest delta, that of the Mighty Mississip. For an introduction to Mississippi River Delta geological issues, click into the Coastal Studies Institute pages from Louisiana State University. There is also a series of animations showing land losses along the Louisiana coast. Do you know why this erosion is occurring? The USGS has a large set of wonderful satellite images of the Pearl River Delta in southern China. How about this delta on Mars? It will be the site of a 2020 rover mission. Here is the excellent summary Wikipedia page on deltas.

Please note again the Earth Sciences Department Writing Page, the link to which is always on the right side of this page.

Finally, Test #1 will be on Thursday, February 13. As a sample of what to expect, here is a pdf of the 2019 first Sed Strat test. We will not have covered all the same topics, so some questions in that test are on material we may not do this year.

Cross-bedding and scour in the Logan Formation (Lower Carboniferous) of Jackson County, Ohio.

Geology in the News –

Great images of “ice dust” dunes on the surface of Mars. Mars has a fascinating geological history still being worked out.

More dunes in the news. Here’s a story claiming experimental dunes somehow “communicate” with each other. First, they seem more ripples than dunes, and second the mechanism of communication is unstated. I hope the original article is more illuminating. I wish it was cited. [Better explanation — and a citation — here.]

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