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Variations in Subsidence along the Gulf of Mexico passive margin from Airborne-LiDAR data and Time Series InSAR in Louisiana
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  • Carolina Hurtado-Pulido,
  • Reda Amer,
  • Cynthia Ebinger,
  • Hayden Holcomb
Carolina Hurtado-Pulido
Tulane University

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Reda Amer
Lamar University
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Cynthia Ebinger
Tulane University
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Hayden Holcomb
Tulane University
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The Coast of Louisiana is affected by accelerating sea level rise compounded by land subsidence, leading to land loss. Vertical crustal motions in the region are caused by natural and anthropogenic processes that vary temporally and spatially across the Gulf of Mexico. We investigate the role of growth faulting contributions to subsidence in a case study of Baton Rouge, where two E-W striking, down-to-the-south normal faults, the Denham Springs and Baton Rouge faults, cut compacted Pleistocene strata, and where sediment compaction should be minimal. We used InSAR time series and LiDAR differencing data spanning 1999-2020 to quantify modern vertical and horizontal displacements. After calibration with GNSS data, both methods reveal similar spatial patterns in ground motion, with the faults delimiting areas with different absolute rates. On average the area north of the Baton Rouge fault is subsiding faster than the south, opposite to the long-term sense of fault slip. LiDAR mean vertical rates range between -5 to -11 mm/y and -2.4 to -7 mm/y. InSAR time-series mean rates in the LOS direction range between -10.9 to -13.6 mm/y and -8 to -10.6 mm/y, respectively, for the north and south areas. Subsidence in the northern area likely is controlled by groundwater level changes caused by pumping as indicated by groundwater extraction models. The southern area average is likely influenced by the injection of fluids. Our results suggest volumetric changes caused by fluid extraction and injection in regions separated by growth faults that are creeping to accommodate the spatial variations in subsidence.
06 Feb 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
10 Feb 2024Published in ESS Open Archive