Theses and Dissertations


Zachary Peoples:

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Skarke, Adam

Committee Member

Paul, Varun G.

Committee Member

Beebe, Alex

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) through seafloor sediments is gaining recognition as an important component of coastal water quality. Stratigraphic features creating geologic heterogeneity, such as incised paleochannels, may influence preferential pathways for SGD. The central Mississippi Sound is underlain by paleochannels that were incised into Pleistocene sediments while the area was subaerially exposed during the last glacial maximum and are now buried by transgressive Holocene deposits. In this thesis, newly collected chirp, previously published seismic reflection, and sediment core data are used to characterize the three-dimensional structure of the Holocene-Pleistocene contact. Results indicate that Pleistocene paleochannels cross-cut the study area, exhibiting depths from 7.3–23.4 m, widths from 0.2–2.5 km, infilling with higher acoustic impedance fluvial sediments, and burial by transgressive Holocene sediments. Results suggest that this shallow subsurface stratigraphy may mediate locations of SGD and aid in predicting SGD pathways and associated contaminant loading into the coastal ocean.