John W Day

John W Day
Louisiana State University | LSU · Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (DOCS)

About

453
Publications
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22,806
Citations
Citations since 2017
69 Research Items
8473 Citations
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Publications

Publications (453)
Article
Coastal systems around the globe are being re-integrated with adjacent river systems to restore the natural hydrologic connection to riparian wetlands. The Mississippi River sediment diversions or river reconnections are one such tool to combat high rates of wetland loss in coastal Louisiana, USA by providing freshwater, sediment, and nutrients. Th...
Article
Deltas are subaerial landforms that cap underlying deposits with subaqueous extensions that result from a river feeding sediment directly into a standing body of water at a rate that overwhelms any effective dispersal processes derived from the ambient basin. This definition encapsulates both the terrestrial surface expression and the geological fo...
Article
Sand and mud reaching the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) via distributary channels created the delta lobes that, in aggregate, make up the current Deltaic Plain (DP). Sediments transported to the west in the coastal boundary current, in turn, have built the “downstream” Chenier Plain (CP). We review options for restoring the CP coast between the bea...
Chapter
Correction to: J. W. Day et al. (eds.), Energy Production in the Mississippi River Delta, Lecture Notes in Energy 43, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-94526-8
Article
Full-text available
Coastal wetlands are not only among the world's most valued ecosystems but also among the most threatened by high greenhouse gas emissions that lead to accelerated sea level rise. There is intense debate regarding the extent to which landward migration of wetlands might compensate for seaward wetland losses. By integrating data from 166 estuaries a...
Chapter
This chapter discusses restoration of wetlands degraded by oil and gas activities. Restoration involves a synergistic approach that tries to reverse the damage of oil and gas impacts and rebuild a functioning coastal wetland system.
Chapter
Oil and gas activity has been pervasive in the Mississippi River Delta and both production and environmental impacts follow a predictable life cycle.
Chapter
After the end of the last glaciation, sea level rose about 150 m and stabilized at approximately its present level about 6000 years ago. In the northern Gulf of Mexico, the rising sea level flooded a broad area of low relief continental margin.
Chapter
There are three general types of impacts of oil and gas production including (1) alteration of surface hydrology, (2) induced subsidence due to fluids withdrawal (oil, gas, and produced water), and (3) toxic impacts of produced water and spilled oil. In addition, abandoned infrastructure (e.g., platforms, well heads, pipes) can cause problems such...
Article
Phosphorus (P) scarcity and the environmental hazards posed by P discharges have triggered the development of technologies for P sequestration and removal from waste streams. Agriculture runoff usually has P concentrations high enough to contribute to eutrophication and harmful algal blooms, but they are still too low for successful P removal with...
Article
Full-text available
The Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, located along the Chenier Plain in Southwest Louisiana, was the location of the sequential landfall of two major hurricanes in the 2020 hurricane season. To protect the rapidly retreating coastline along the Refuge, a system of breakwaters was constructed, which was partially completed by the 2020 hurricane season....
Article
Full-text available
The State of Louisiana is leading an integrated wetland restoration and flood risk reduction program in the Mississippi River Delta. East of New Orleans, Biloxi Marsh, a ~1700 km2 peninsula jutting 60 km north toward the State of Mississippi is one of few Delta wetland tracts well positioned to dissipate hurricane surge and waves threatening the ci...
Article
Full-text available
The world is urbanizing most rapidly in tropical to sub-temperate areas and in coastal zones. Climate change along with other global change forcings will diminish the opportunities for sustainability of cities, especially in coastal areas in low-income countries. Climate forcings include global temperature and heatwave increases that are expanding...
Book
Full-text available
There were four global-scale crises in the first millennium. Three of them interrupting global warming episodes, one of them an interruption of a global cooling episode by a significant global warming episode. In some places they had little effect and in others were utterly catastrophic. We advocate examining the results of these interruptions as E...
Article
Full-text available
Due to increasing water use, diversion and salinization, along with subsidence and sea-level rise, deltas in arid regions are shrinking worldwide. Some of the most ecologically important arid deltas include the Colorado, Indus, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates. The primary stressors vary globally, but these deltas are threatened by increased salinization...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change forcings are having significant impacts in coastal Louisiana today and increasingly affect the future of New Orleans, a deltaic city mostly below sea level, which depends on levee and pumps to protect from a host of water-related threats. Precipitation has increased in the Mississippi River basin generally, increasing runoff, so that...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have produced conflicting results as to whether coastal wetlands can keep up with present-day and future sea-level rise. The stratigraphic record shows that threshold rates for coastal wetland submergence or retreat are lower than what instrumental records suggest, with wetland extent that shrinks considerably under high rates of sea...
Article
Full-text available
Here we review an extensive series of studies of Barataria Basin, an economically and ecologically important coastal basin of the Mississippi Delta. Human activity has greatly altered the hydrology of the basin by decreasing riverine inflows from leveeing of the river and its distributaries, increasing runoff with high nutrient concentrations from...
Article
Full-text available
The acquisition of reliable and accurate data to assess environmental changes over large spatial scales is one of the main limitations to determine the impact of eutrophication, and the effectiveness of management strategies in coastal systems. Here, we used a continuous in situ Chl-a fluorometry sensor and L8/OLI satellite data to develop an algor...
Article
Full-text available
Here we examine a combined dataset of water quality dynamics in the Barataria Basin, Louisiana based on transect studies from 1977 to 1978 (Seaton) and from 1994 to 2016. The Davis Pond river diversion into Lake Cataouatche began discharging Mississippi River water into the mid-basin in 2005, and so the later dataset was divided in Pre- and Post-di...
Data
Supplementary material to Syvitski et al. 2020, see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344685697_Extraordinary_human_energy_consumption_and_resultant_geological_impacts_beginning_around_1950_CE_initiated_the_proposed_Anthropocene_Epoch
Article
Full-text available
Growth in fundamental drivers—energy use, economic productivity and population—can provide quantitative indications of the proposed boundary between the Holocene Epoch and the Anthropocene. Human energy expenditure in the Anthropocene, ~22 zetajoules (ZJ), exceeds that across the prior 11,700 years of the Holocene (~14.6 ZJ), largely through combus...
Article
The objectives of this study were to examine changes in accretion and elevation change over periods of up to 15 years for the Biloxi marsh complex (BMC) in southeastern Louisiana, part of the Mississippi Deltaic Plain, identify factors affecting accretionary dynamics, and put these findings in the context of ongoing restoration. We present elevatio...
Article
Full-text available
Oil and gas (O&G) activity has been pervasive in the Mississippi River Delta (MRD). Here we review the life cycle of O&G fields in the MRD focusing on the production history and resulting environmental impacts and show how cumulative impacts affect coastal ecosystems. Individual fields can last 40–60 years and most wells are in the final stages of...
Article
Byrnes et al. (Geo-Marine Letters 39:265–278, Byrnes et al. 2019) present subsidence data for Barataria Basin located south and west of New Orleans in coastal Louisiana to better inform wetland protection and restoration planning by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. They measured subsidence using geodetic GPS elevation sur...
Article
Emerging organic contaminants (EOC) include a diverse group of chemical compounds, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), pesticides, hormones, surfactants, flame retardants, and plasticizers. Many of these compounds are not significantly removed in conventional wastewater treatment plants and are discharged to the environment,...
Article
Canals and spoil banks have contributed significantly to high rates of wetland loss in the Mississippi Delta. There has been relatively little research on management of canals and spoil banks and this needs to be a significant component of restoration of the delta. We analyze research on the role of backfilling canals in the context of delta restor...
Preprint
Schuerch et al. (2018) [1] deserve credit for compiling a wide range of disparate, global datasets that will be instrumental in predicting future coastal wetland change. However, we challenge their projections that range from modest losses to substantial gains worldwide by the end of this century. Their modeling does not adequately capture the role...
Article
Full-text available
The integration of feedbacks between Holocene planetary history and human development benefits from a change in perspective that focusses on socio-historical periods of stability separated by global-scale events, which we call foundational transitions or bottlenecks. Transitions are caused by social and/or astronomical and biogeophysical events suc...
Article
Full-text available
This review synthesizes the knowledge regarding the environmental forces affecting water level variability in the coastal waters of the Mississippi River delta and relates these fluctuations to planned river diversions. Water level fluctuations vary significantly across temporal and spatial scales, and are subject to influences from river flow, tid...
Article
Management and restoration of coastal wetlands require insight into how inundation, salinity, and the availability of mineral sediment and nutrients interact to influence ecosystem functions that control sustainability. The Mississippi River Delta, which ranks among the world's largest and most productive coastal wetland complexes, has experienced...
Article
Full-text available
The urban transition, the increased ratio of urban to rural population globally and within countries, is a hallmark of the twenty-first century. Our analysis of publicly available data from the World Bank spanning several decades for ~ 195 countries shows that across and within nations over time, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), energy use,...
Article
River systems worldwide have become substantially influenced by human activities, including land use changes, river diversion operations, and flood control measures. Some of the unambiguous and best studied examples of effects of enhanced eutrophication on biotic resources can be found in Louisiana estuaries at the terminus of the Mississippi-Atcha...
Chapter
Deltas are the most productive and economically important global ecosystems, associated with some of the largest coastal marine fisheries and the majority of global coastal wetlands. They are often regions of intense economic activity. Because of their ecological richness, deltas support the highest values of ecosystem goods and services in the wor...
Chapter
Global change will impact coastal systems in a number of ways. Climate change will result in higher temperatures, accelerated sea-level rise, changed freshwater discharge, more intense precipitation events and droughts, and changes in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms as well as winter storms. Increasing temperature will shift the trop...
Chapter
The Mississippi delta is one of the largest and best studied of global deltas, and like all deltas. The Mississippi rebuilt the modern MRD (Mississippi River delta) across the continental shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico over the past 7000. years during a period of relative sea-level stasis. Delta formation was enhanced by a hierarchical series...
Book
Full-text available
Presents real world best practice examples allowing the reader to gain new research ideas and compare their own research to that of their peers to improve on their own practices KEY FEATURES •The first book to cover estuaries and coastal seas worldwide, integrating theircommonality, their differences and solutions for sustainability. •Includes glob...
Chapter
Full-text available
The southern Gulf of Mexico is characterized by coastal ecosystems with high freshwater input, extensive wetlands and coastal lagoons, productive fisheries, and human settlements whose economy is largely based on the rich natural resources of the area. The Grijalva-Usumacinta River and delta region has high riverine input and extensive wetlands. Th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The urban transition, the increased ratio of urban to rural population globally and within countries, is a hallmark of the 21st century. Our analysis of publicly available data from the World Bank spanning several decades for ~195 countries show that across and within nations over time, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), energy use, and CO2 e...
Article
In recent decades, water quality standards for wastewater treatment have become more stringent, increasing costs and energy required to reduce pollutants. Wetland assimilation is a low-cost and low-energy alternative to traditional tertiary wastewater treatment where secondarily treated and disinfected municipal effluent is discharged primarily int...
Article
The term ‘assimilation wetland’ has been applied to natural wetlands in Louisiana into which disinfected, secondarily treated municipal effluent is discharged with the dual purpose of improving regional water quality and enhancing vegetation productivity and soil accretion. Some municipalities began discharging treated effluent into wetlands prior...
Article
There has been considerable discussion over the past several years about the potential negative effects of nutrient loading on coastal wetland stability. In particular, there have been concerns that high nitrate concentrations can fuel denitrification that can lead to soil organic matter loss and wetland deterioration. Here we review these issues f...
Article
A nutrient-loading mesocosm study was conducted on baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) and water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) seedlings and a field study was conducted on baldcypress seedling diameter increase at five assimilation wetlands. Nitrogen additions ranged from 0 to 400 g N m⁻² yr⁻¹. Dependent variables included above- and belowground biomass pro...
Article
Flood control levees cut off the supply of sediment to Mississippi delta coastal wetlands, and contribute to putting much of the delta on a trajectory for continued submergence in the 21st century. River sediment diversions have been proposed as a method to provide a sustainable supply of sediment to the delta, but the frequency and magnitude of th...
Article
Full-text available
To meet the COP21 2 °C climate target, humanity would need to complete a transition to renewable energy within the next several decades. But for decades, fossil fuels will continue to underpin many fundamental activities that allow modern society to function. Unfortunately, net energy yield from fossil fuels is now falling, and despite substantial...
Chapter
An assimilation wetland is a natural (non-constructed) wetland into which secondarily-treated, disinfected, non-toxic municipal effluent is discharged. In the Mississippi River Delta, the wetland is typically either a freshwater forested wetland (e.g., baldcypress-water tupelo) or a freshwater emergent wetland. These wetlands have been hydrology al...
Chapter
The coast is the most vital economic region in Louisiana and is being affected greatly by land loss. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is an overarching agency responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing restoration and protection projects in the Louisiana Coastal Zone. CPRA publishes the Louisiana Coastal Master...
Chapter
Climate change and energy scarcity pose challenges for the sustainability of the Mississippi River Delta and its future restoration. Projected trends for climate change suggest increasing risk in the coastal zone from sea-level rise, more frequent high-intensity hurricanes, and increased Mississippi River discharge. Simultaneously, analysis of ener...
Chapter
The Mississippi River (MR) delta formed over the last several 1000 years as a series of overlapping deltaic lobes in various stages of progradation and deterioration that were sustained by overbank flooding and crevasses of the Mississippi River and active distributaries. To the west of the delta complex stretches the smooth shoreline of the Chenie...
Chapter
The Mississippi River delta developed over the past several 1000 years after sea level stabilized at the end of the last glaciation. Native Americans lived in the delta during this time but had almost no impact on its functioning. This all changed with the arrival of European colonialists at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Over the ensuing...
Chapter
When European explorers first arrived in what is now south Louisiana in the late seventeenth century, the Mississippi delta was a vibrant, healthy, dynamic regional coastal ecosystem. Now however, the Mississippi delta is profoundly changed and unsustainable. Given the growing constraints imposed by climate change and resource scarcity and the proj...
Chapter
Currently the Mississippi delta stands as a highly degraded and threatened coastal ecosystem having lost about 25% of coastal wetlands during the twentieth century. To address this problem, a $50 billion, 50 year restoration program is underway. A central component of this program is reintroduction of river water back into the deltaic plain to mimi...
Chapter
Freshwater wetlands are important in the Mississippi Delta for habitat, water quality improvement, fisheries, carbon sequestration, and as a buffer against hurricane storm surge and waves. Forested wetlands are particularly important as hurricane buffers because of their 3-dimensional structure and their resistance to blow down during hurricanes. F...
Book
This book is a new and provocative treatment dealing with and defining sustainable pathways for the restoration of the Mississippi Delta. Based on a consideration of natural functioning of the Mississippi delta, factors that led to its severe deterioration, and major global trajectories of the 21st century, the authors investigate possible future p...
Article
In October 1993 and January 1994, two large floods with peak discharge of 9800 and 10,980 m³/s and total suspended solid transport of 10.7 × 10⁶ and 9.7 × 10⁶ tons, respectively, occurred on the Rhône River. Both floods led to multiple levee breeches in the Northern part of the delta resulting in the introduction of 131 × 10⁶ and 54.9 × 10⁶ m³ of r...
Chapter
Mangrove forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services to society, yet they are among the most anthropogenically impacted coastal ecosystems in the world. In this chapter, we discuss and provide examples for how macroecology can advance our understanding of mangrove ecosystems. Macroecology is broadly defined as a discipline that uses statisti...
Article
Over 25% of Mississippi River delta plain (MRDP) wetlands were lost over the past century. There is currently a major effort to restore the MRDP focused on a 50-year time horizon, a period during which the energy system and climate will change dramatically. We used a calibrated MRDP marsh elevation model to assess the costs of hydraulic dredging to...
Article
Secondarily treated municipal effluent has been discharged since 2006 into a 1439 ha cypress-tupelo forested wetland in coastal Louisiana. Changes in carbon stocks of trees and soils as well as emissions of methane and nitrous oxide were measured over a one-year period and compared to baseline conditions derived from the scientific literature. Meth...
Article
Full-text available
The arid border region that encompasses the American Southwest and the Mexican northwest is an area where the nexus of water scarcity and climate change in the face of growing human demands for water, emerging energy scarcity, and economic change comes into sharp focus.
Article
In an effort to restore deteriorating coastal wetlands in Breton Sound, Louisiana, a diversion of Mississippi River water into the estuarine ecosystem has been operated at Caernarvon, Louisiana, since 1991. The diversion was implemented after a relatively long collaborative planning process beginning in the 1950s. The Caernarvon Interagency Advisor...
Article
We carried out a 1.5-year study of the fate of organic carbon during experimental wetland loss using an herbicide at freshwater, brackish and saltwater emergent wetlands. Total carbon stocks in the upper 50 cm of the soil horizon were 15.0 ± 0.5 kg C/m2 (222.8 mt CO2e/ac) at the freshwater site, 11.1 ± 0.9 kg C/m2 (164.7 mt CO2e/ac) at the brackish...
Article
Sand transport to the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) remains sufficient to build wetlands in shallow, sheltered coastal bays fed by engineered diversions on the Mississippi River (MR) and its Atchafalaya River (AR) distributary. But suspended mud (silt & clay) flux to the coast has dropped from a mean of 390 Mt y⁻¹ in the early 1950s, to 100 Mt y⁻¹...
Article
Full-text available
The Maurepas swamp is the second largest contiguous coastal forest in Louisiana but it is highly degraded due to subsidence, near permanent flooding, nutrient starvation, nutria herbivory, and saltwater intrusion. Observed tree mortality rates at study sites in the Maurepas swamp are very high (up to 100% tree mortality in 11 years) and basal area...
Article
Full-text available
Deltas and estuaries built by the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River (MAR) in the United States and the Usumacinta/Grijalva River (UGR) in Mexico account for 80 percent of all Gulf of Mexico (GoM) coastal wetlands outside of Cuba. They rank first and second in freshwater discharge to the GoM and owe their natural resilience to a modular geomorphology th...
Article
Full-text available
The Central Wetlands Unit (CWU), covering 12,000 hectares in St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes, Louisiana, was once a healthy baldcypress-water tupelo swamp and fresh and low salinity marsh before construction of levees isolated the region from Mississippi River floodwaters. Construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), which funneled sa...
Article
Full-text available
This research presents the initial results of the effects of hydrological restoration on forested wetlands in the Mississippi alluvial plain near Memphis, Tennessee. Measurements were carried out in a secondary channel, the Loosahatchie Chute, in which rock dikes were constructed in the 1960s to keep most flow in the main navigation channel. In 200...
Article
The East Joyce Wetlands (EJW) bordering northwest Lake Pontchartrain have a long history of human induced changes, such as leveeing of the Mississippi River that eliminated almost all riverine input to the area and segmentation of the east and west Joyce wetlands by the construction of a railroad, U.S. highway 51, and Interstate 55. Dredged drainag...