Abstract

The geomorphology and processes of land loss in the Pontchartrain Basin for the period 1990–2001 are mapped and the results of the classification presented. This data set is compared to an earlier classification, which covered the period 1932–1990 to determine the status and trends of wetland loss in the Pontchartrain Basin between 1932 and 2001. Results of the land loss classification indicate land loss rates have remained steady between the two periods (13 km2/y between 1932 and 1990 and 12 km2/y between 1990 and 2001). The geomorphology and processes of loss have shifted from primarily interior loss as a result of direct removal and submergence in the first period to primarily shoreline loss as a result of erosion in the second period.

Three areas of concentrated land loss between 1990 and 2001 represent portions of the upper, middle, and lower basin. Land loss at all three locations shifts from interior to shoreline loss between the two periods. In the second period, interior loss through the process of submergence is still occurring but at much reduced rates at locations 1 and 2. Interior loss through the process of direct removal is only occurring at location 1 during the second period and accounts for less that 2% of the loss. At location 3, land loss is completely in the form of shoreline erosion during the second period.

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