Extending nearly 400 km from Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana border east to the Chandeleur Islands, the Louisiana coastal zone (Fig. 11.1) along the north-central Gulf of Mexico is the southern terminus of the largest drainage basin in North America (>3.3 million km2), which includes the Mississippi River delta plain where approximately 6.2 million kilograms per year of sediment is delivered to the Gulf of Mexico (Coleman 1988). The Mississippi River, active since at least Late Jurassic time (Mann and Thomas 1968), is the main distributary channel of this drainage system and during the Holocene has constructed one of the largest delta plains in the world, larger than 30,000 km2 (Coleman and Prior 1980; Coleman 1981; Coleman et al. 1998). The subsurface geology and geomorphology of the Louisiana coastal zone reffects a complex history of regional tectonic events and fluvial, deltaic, and marine sedimentary processes affected by large sea-level fluctuations. Despite the complex geology of the north-central Gulf basin, a long history of engineering studies and Scientific research investigations (see table 11.1) has led to substantial knowledge of the geologic framework and evolution of the delta plain region (see also Bird et al., chapter 1 in this volume).
Mississippi River delta plain, Louisiana coast, and inner shelf Holocene geologic framework, processes, and resources. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262802561_Mississippi_River_delta_plain_Louisiana_coast_and_inner_shelf_Holocene_geologic_framework_processes_and_resources [accessed Sep 13, 2017].