Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schmitz, Darrel W.

Committee Member

Skarke, Adam

Committee Member

Dunbar, Joseph B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Department of Geosciences


Sand boil formation due to underseepage is a potential failure mechanism for levees in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Sand boils were identified in the Buck Chute study area in the 1990s during high water events and during the 2009 Flood. The site is unique due to the presence of point bar and abandoned channel deposits. To understand the role of these alluvial deposits on sand boil formation at the site, a geologic investigation of the subsurface was conducted. Using shallow geophysics, cone penetrometer tests (CPT), borings, and a geographic information system (GIS), it was concluded that the thin blanket associated with point bar deposits, abandoned channel deposits causing a blocked seepage path, and head differential changes caused by the Muddy Bayou Control Structure were the controls of sand boil formation at Buck Chute.