Public Release: 

Fifty years of geoscience in the South-Central US

The Geological Society of America South-Central Section's Golden Anniversary Meeting

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colo., USA - Geoscientists from the south-central U.S. and beyond will convene in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic features of the region. "Several 'hot topics' will be addressed at the section's 50th Anniversary Meeting," says Technical Chair David Borrok (University of Louisiana, Lafayette). "We'll be talking about coastal systems and land loss -- important issues both locally and nationally." Louisiana State University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette host the meeting.

Keynote Presentations:

John R. Dribus

Recent Significant Global Deepwater Discoveries and the Look Forward for Deep Water Exploration

Mon., 21 March, 12:30 p.m., Governor Room.

Torbjorn E. Tornqvist

Is coastal Louisiana sustainable?

Tues., 22 March, 12:30 p.m., Governor Room.

Two field trips on Sunday, 20 March, will explore significant terrestrial vertebrate fossils in the Pascagoula Formation and the water-flow control system between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers.

A post-meeting workshop to identify a joint, interdisciplinary research project to understand important problems in the tectonic evolution of the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas-Oklahoma-Kansas region is planned to complement Tuesday's session, "Big Geoscientific Problems in the South-Central Region" (

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into symposia and themed sessions covering an array of research from fossils to faults, and more.

MONDAY, 21 MARCH (morning)

Subsidence, Accretion: Coastal Depletion?

Coastal sustainability in vulnerable delta areas hinges on the balance of land gain and loss. This session aims to examine and reconcile differing rates of measured coastal land change for processes including subsidence, uplift, erosion, and accretion -- both within and beyond the Mississippi Delta.

Conveners: Christopher Esposito (, Elizabeth L. Chamberlain, and Krista L. Jankowski, Tulane University.


Sample presentation: Elucidating sea-level rise, subsidence, and sediment accretion in the Ganges-Brahmaputra (G-B) tidal deltaplain

Lead Author Carol Wilson (Louisiana State, Baton Rouge) will be showing work that she and her colleagues have been doing to pinpoint rates of subsidence and accretion in the Ganges-Bhramaputra tidal delta plain. Although the data is from the other side of the world, the story and its importance will be easy to understand for those familiar with Louisiana coastal issues.

Sample presentation: Quantifying late quaternary fault movement in the Tepetate-Baton Rouge fault zone southeast Louisiana: implications for coastal subsidence:

Lead Author Torbjorn Tornqvist (Tulane University) will talk about fault-driven subsidence (or lack thereof) in the Baton Rouge fault zone, and the implications for measuring rates of land change in the rest of the

Mississippi River Delta. This issue has been the subject of public discussion recently and conveners expect a stimulating exchange of ideas.

MONDAY, 21 MARCH (afternoon)

Coastal and Shelf Sediment Transport Processes and Products of the Northern Gulf of Mexico

This session will focus on coastal and shelf sedimentary processes and products in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, with special emphasis on the Mississippi and other Gulf of Mexico deltaic and estuarine systems.

Conveners: Samuel J. Bentley (, Kehui Xu, Jeff Obelcz, Jiaze Wang and Crawford White.


Sample presentation: Decline of the subaqueous Mississippi river delta front: Implications for mudflow hazard

Lead Author Jillian Maloney (San Diego State University) will present work relative to the major reversal in sedimentation patterns for the Mississippi: one of the largest rivers in the world, the largest in North America, and the conduit for most maritime trade (especially bulk cargo) leaving the continent.

View the complete session schedule by day or search the program by keywords at

Click on session titles for a list of presentations, and click on presentations for the individual abstracts.

Complete meeting information:

Local contact information:


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter or business card from the publication.

  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2015 or 2016.

  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Present media credentials to Lindsey Henslee onsite at the GSA registration desk to obtain a badge for media access. Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Journalists and PIOs must pay regular fees for paid luncheons and any short courses or field trips in which they participate. Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.


For additional information and assistance, contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications, at the address above.

Contact: Christa Stratton

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 26,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

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