Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Skarke, Adam

Committee Member

Kirkland, Brenda

Committee Member

Rodgers, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) adjoins two costal embayments in the eastern Mississippi Sound, Grand Bay and Point Aux Chenes Bay, which encompass a late Pleistocene/ Holocene delta of the Pascagoula-Escatawpa fluvial system. Historical maps and aerial imagery indicate that the GBNERR shoreline has experienced long-term retreat at spatially variable rates. The research presented here investigates the relationship between the coastal geomorphological evolution of GBNERR and the underlying geological framework. Coastal morphology and stratigraphy were characterized by analyzing 85 km of chirp sonar sub-bottom seismic profiles and 45 sediment cores. Shoreline retreat rates were determined through geospatial regression analysis of 11 historical shorelines surveyed between 1850 and 2015. Results indicate that Pleistocene paleochannels in the underlying fluvial distributary ravinement surfaces are spatially correlated with shoreline segments that exhibit elevated retreat rates and should be accounted for in future models of local as well as regional coastal evolution.



paleochannel||fetch limited barrier islands||Grand Bay