Underwater Sill Construction for Mitigating Salt Wedge Migration on the Lower Mississippi River
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS HYDRAULICS LAB
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The Mississippi River is a major navigable waterway between New Orleans, LA and the Gulf of Mexico. The navigation channel through the delta area of the Mississippi River is through Southwest Pass, and the channel depth maintained for navigation makes it the primary avenue of saltwater intrusion from the Gulf toward New Orleans. Salt water is more dense than fresh water and moves upstream along the bottom in the form of a wedge. Historical evidence indicates that channel deepening increases the frequency of salinity intrusion events. Decreased river discharges during drought periods also contribute to the duration and distance upstream of a saltwater wedge intrusion unless efforts are taken to mitigate the event. The report presents a brief summary of the causes of the 1988 salinity intrusion event that threatened the water supplies of New Orleans, the emergency efforts undertaken to halt the salt wedge migration, and the success of those efforts.
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
- Civil Engineering