Extensive data collected by oil and gas companies along Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne will be used by researchers at the University of New Orleans studying sea levels on the Louisiana coast.
Mark Kulp is associate professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the Coastal Research Laboratory at UNO. He explains what will be studied:
“One of the very hotly debated topics along coastal Louisiana is whether faults that are present in the subsurface have actively moved in the relatively recent past," he said. "And the working idea is that if a fault has movement along it then part of the land surface would actually subside. And the subsidence of the land surface then would potentially cause a rise in sea level at that location, what we refer to as relative sea level.”
Kulp says the data covers 1990 to 2002, and cost an estimated $25 million to compile. He says the research should take at least a year.
Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Coypu Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.