The Water Institute is pleased to announce the first seminar in the
2007-2008 Smallwood Distinguished Scholar Seminar Series

Speaker:  L. Donelson Wright, Chancellor Professor of Marine Science,
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary
Seminar Title: Recent Advances in Understanding the Complex Impacts of
Rivers on Coastal and Continental Shelf Environments 
Time: 3:00 pm Thursday September 6, 2007 
Location: Room 282 Reitz Union

Abstract:  Deltaic coasts and shelves are produced where rivers enter
the coastal ocean. Historically, these environments have played
important socio-economic roles: deltas were the sites of early
agriculture and formative civilizations and presently support some of
world's largest urban centers (e.g. Shanghai, Bangkok and Cairo). Deltas
are also sinks for terrestrial carbon and are sources of fossil fuel. At
the most basic level, river-ocean intersections are distinguished by the
delivery to the sea of sediment, buoyancy and nutrients.  The
interactions among these three factors and human-induced coastal
modifications are profoundly complex. From the human perspective, the
consequences may, at the same time be both beneficial and detrimental.
Traditionally, sediment input by rivers has been important to land
building but dams and river control projects have, in many cases,
reduced or halted the vital supply. Coastal Louisiana in the lower
Mississippi Delta is presently losing land at the rate of 65-90 km2yr-1,
in part because a large fraction of the sediment load is now channeled
into deep water by engineering works.  The detrimental reduction in
sediment load has been accompanied by delivery of an excess of nutrients
from the vast Mississippi watershed leading to the hypoxia that plagues
the shelf waters to the west of the active Mississippi delta. This
situation is exacerbated by the buoyancy input which stratifies the
water column and isolates the bed layer from the oxygenated surface
layer.  Over the past decade or so, there have been major advances in
observing and modeling the processes associated with deltaic shelves and
in the formulation of management strategies for these systems.  In this
presentation, these advances will be summarized with particular emphasis
on new understandings of river-borne sediment dissemination and oxygen
dynamics on deltaic shelves. 


Dr. Donelson's Itinerary:


Thursday September 6th, 2007

1pm  Meet with Faculty Advisory Committee 365 Weil Hall

3pm  Seminar 282 Reitz Union


Friday September 7th, 2007

9:15 am Meetings with interested faculty and students, hosted by Peter
Sheng and Karl Havens, 365 Weil Hall

Noon:  Lunch with Geological Sciences Faculty, hosted by Jon Martin 


Please pass this information on to potentially interested students and

Wendy Graham
Carl S. Swisher Chair in Water Resources
Director UF Water Institute
PO Box 116601
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611-6601


Phone 352-392-5893 x 2113
Email  [log in to unmask]