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Spatial Patterns of Deltaic Deposition/Erosion Revealed by Streaklines Extracted From Remotely-Sensed Suspended Sediment Concentration

Salter, Gerard and Passalacqua, Paola and Wright, Kyle and Feil, Sarah and Jensen, Daniel and Simard, Marc and Lamb, Michael P. (2022) Spatial Patterns of Deltaic Deposition/Erosion Revealed by Streaklines Extracted From Remotely-Sensed Suspended Sediment Concentration. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (11). Art. No. e2022GL098443. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2022gl098443.

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Deltas are vulnerable landscapes, making it crucial to understand their spatial patterns of deposition/erosion. Here, we used patterns in suspended sediment concentration (SSC) measured by a NASA airborne spectrometer, AVIRIS-NG, to infer deposition/erosion within Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana. Conceptually, change in SSC within a fluid parcel traveling downstream reflects settling and/or entrainment from the bed. We found that remotely-sensed SSC displays curvilinear features, which we interpret as streaklines. We developed a semi-automated technique for extracting streaklines using a cost function based on SSC and its geometric curvature. We measured SSC change along streaklines, which when combined with flow velocities obtained from a hydrodynamic model, allowed us to infer instantaneous deposition/erosion rates. These rates are realistic in magnitude and record coherent spatial patterns across the delta. Our novel method provides a promising avenue for relating spatial patterns of land change to flow conditions over wide areas in vulnerable deltas.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information ItemCode for the sediment advection/settling model
Salter, Gerard0000-0001-6426-0133
Passalacqua, Paola0000-0002-4763-7231
Wright, Kyle0000-0001-5142-1786
Feil, Sarah0000-0002-0212-1776
Jensen, Daniel0000-0003-3331-2847
Simard, Marc0000-0002-9442-4562
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Additional Information:© 2022 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 31 May 2022; Version of Record online: 31 May 2022; Accepted manuscript online: 24 May 2022; Manuscript accepted: 18 May 2022; Manuscript revised: 09 May 2022; Manuscript received: 24 February 2022. The NASA Delta-X project is funded by the Science Mission Directorate's Earth Science Division through the Earth Venture Suborbital-3 Program NNH17ZDA001N-EVS3. This work was partly conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank John Shaw, Chris Cathcart, and an anonymous reviewer for insightful feedback on our manuscript. We also thank Sergio Fagherazzi and members of the Delta-X team for insightful discussions. Suspended sediment concentration data acquisition was supported by Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research and Technology Development (JPL-R&TD) FY17–19 (grant 01STCR/R.17.231.069). Data Availability Statement: Code for the sediment advection/settling model can be downloaded from Suspended sediment concentration data can be downloaded from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (Jensen et al., 2021).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Research and Technology Development Fund01STCR/R.17.231.069
Subject Keywords:delta; bathymetry; remote sensing; sediment; SSC; hydrodynamics
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220526-391432000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Salter, G., Passalacqua, P., Wright, K., Feil, S., Jensen, D., Simard, M., & Lamb, M. P. (2022). Spatial patterns of deltaic deposition/erosion revealed by streaklines extracted from remotely-sensed suspended sediment concentration. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2022GL098443.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114948
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Jun 2022 16:02
Last Modified:07 Jun 2022 19:49

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