Featured Photo

Upstream damming, resource extraction (oil, gas, or water), and rising sea levels are some of the factors threatening the world’s river deltas, biologically rich ecosystems that provide a buffer against storm surges and are home to some 500 million people. Douglas Edmonds, assistant professor of earth and environmental science at Boston College, has been mapping the elaborate channel frameworks of 12 deltas, including those of the Mississippi, Atchafalaya, and Saskatchewan rivers, and creating computer models to test the effects of variables such as sediment composition, water speed, and channel profile. According to Edmonds, researchers are “at the very beginning of understanding delta design and development.”

On March 30, Edmonds (above) discussed his delta studies at the University’s Weston Observatory.

This feature was posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 and is filed under Featured Photo.

Photograph by Jake Belcher