Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Fluvial infrastructure management

A river delta in transition

The world’s largest deltas, home to numerous megacities, are expected to bear the brunt of climate-driven sea-level rise. Now, a study shows that disentangling the human impacts on the Mississippi Delta in the past century can help make these systems more resilient.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Building with nature in the Mississippi Delta.



  1. Boesch, D. F. et al. J. Coast. Res. Special Issue 20, 1–103 (1994).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Penland, S., Beall, A. D., Britsch, L. D. III & Williams, S. J. Gulf Coast Assoc. Geol. Soc. Trans. 52, 799–807 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Edmonds, D. A. et al. Nat. Sustain. (2023).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Nienhuis, J. H. et al. Nature 614, E26–E28 (2023).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Costanza, R. et al. Glob. Environ. Change 26, 152–158 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. CPRA Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast (Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, 2023).

  7. Temmerman, S. et al. Nature 504, 79–83 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. USACE Environmental impact statement for the proposed Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana (US Army Corps of Engineers, 2023).

  9. Gagliano, S. M. & Van Beek, J. L. in Deltas: Models for Exploration (ed. Broussard, M. L.) 223–238 (Houston Geological Society, 1975).

  10. Cox, J. R. et al. Glob. Planet. Change 214, 103796 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Paola, C. et al. Ann. Rev. Mar. Sci. 3, 67–91 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Allison, M. A. & Meselhe, E. A. J. Hydrol. 387, 346–360 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Blum, M. D. & Roberts, H. H. Nat. Geosci. 2, 488–491 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Zumberge, M. A. et al. J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf. 127, e2022JF006718 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Keogh, M. E., Törnqvist, T. E., Kolker, A. S., Erkens, G. & Bridgeman, J. G. J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf. 126, e2021JF006231 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Torbjörn E. Törnqvist.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Törnqvist, T.E. A river delta in transition. Nat Sustain (2023).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing