Mead A. Allison


Professor & Chair, Department of River-Coastal Science and Engineering
School of Science & Engineering
Mead Allison


Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Room 222, Stanley Thomas
New Orleans, LA 70118


Education & Affiliations

Ph. D., State University of New York, Stony Brook, 1993
M.S., East Carolina University, 1988
B.S., College of William & Mary, 1985


My research interests include sediment dynamics of modern environments including lowland river, deltaic, wetland, estuarine, and continental shelf settings as well as examination of the late Holocene sediment record in coastal settings

Selected Publications

*Ramirez, M.T. and Allison, M.A., 2013. Suspension of bed-material sand over lateral bars in the lower Mississippi River, Southeastern Louisiana. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface Processes 118:1-20.

Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., Zhao, J., Li, X., *Comeaux, R., Feagin, R., Kulawardhana, R.W., 2013. Historical reconstruction of mangrove expansion in the Gulf of Mexico: linking climate change with carbon sequestration in coastal wetlands. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 119:7-16.

Safak, I., Allison, M.A., and Sheremet, A., 2013. Floc behavior in a high-turbidity, wave-energetic muddy shelf: Observations under varying turbulence, sediment availability, and seafloor properties. Continental Shelf Research 53:1-10.

Rosenheim, B.E., Roe, K.M., Roberts, B.J., Kolker, A.S., Allison, M.A., and Johannesson, K.H., 2013. River discharge influences on particulate organic carbon age structure in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River system. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 27:154-166.

Allison, M.A., Vosburg, B.M., *Ramirez, M.T., and Meselhe, E.A., 2012. Mississippi River channel response to the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening in the 2011 flood and its implications for the design and operation of river diversions. Journal of Hydrology 477:104-118.

Li, X., Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., Chapman, P., Mitra, S., Zhang, Z., Yang, G., and Yu, Z. 2012. Composition, abundance and age of total organic carbon in surface sediments from the inner shelf of the East China Sea. Marine Chemistry 145:37-52.

Meselhe, E.A., Georgiou, I., Allison, M.A., and McCorquodale, 2012. Numerical modeling of hydrodynamics and sediment transport in lower Mississippi at a proposed delta building diversion. Journal of Hydrology 472-3:340-354.

Zhao, J., Bianchi, T.S., Li, X., Allison, M.A., Yao, P., and Yu, Z., 2012. Historical eutrophication in the Changjiang and Mississippi delta-front estuaries: stable sedimentary chloropigmments as biomarkers. Continental Shelf Research 47:133-144.

Allison, M.A., Demas, C.R., Ebersole, B.A., Kleiss, B.A., Little, C.D., Meselhe, E.A., Powell, N.J., Pratt, T.C., and Vosburg, B.M., 2012. A water and sediment budget for the lower Mississippi-Atchafalaya River in flood years 2008-2010: implications for sediment discharge to the oceans and coastal restoration in Louisiana. Journal of Hydrology 432/3:84-97.

*Comeaux, R.S., Allison, M.A., and Bianchi, T.S., 2012. Mangrove expansion in the Gulf of Mexico with climate change: implications for wetland health and resistance to rising sea levels. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 96:81-95.

Kolker, A.S., Allison, M.A., and Hameed, S., 2011. An evaluation of subsidence rates and sea-level variability in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geophysical Research Letters 38:L21404, doi:10.1029/2011GL049458

*Nittrouer, C.A., Mohrig, D., and Allison, M.A., 2011. Punctuated sand transport in the lowermost Mississippi River. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface Processes 116:10.1029/2011JF002026.

Bianchi, T.S., Sampere, T.P., Allison, M.A., and McKee, B.A., 2011. Burial and degradation of organic carbon in Louisiana shelf/slope sediments. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 95:232-244.

*Nittrouer, J.A., Mohrig, D., Allison, M.A., and Peyret, A-P. B. 2011. The lowermost Mississippi River: a mixed bedrock-alluvial channel. Sedimentology 58:1914-1934.

Sampere, T., Bianchi, T.S., and Allison, M.A., 2011. Historical changes in terrestrially-derived organic carbon inputs to Louisiana continental margin sediments over the past 150 years. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences 116, G01016, doi:10.1029/2010JG001420.

Sampere, T., Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., and McKee, B.A., 2011. Burial and degradation of organic carbon in Louisiana Shelf/Slope sediments. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 95:232-244.

Sheremet, A., Jaramillo, S., Su, S.-F., Allison, M.A. and Holland, K.T., 2011. Wave-mud interaction over the muddy Atchafalaya subaqueous clinoform, Louisiana, United States: wave processes. Journal of Geophysical Research--Oceans 116, C06005, doi:10.1029/2010JC006644.

Allison, M. A., T. M. Dellapenna, E. S. Gordon, S. Mitra, and S. T. Petsch, 2010. Impact of Hurricane Katrina (2005) on shelf organic carbon burial and deltaic evolution, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L21605, doi:10.1029/2010GL044547.

Allison, M. A., and E. A. Meselhe, 2010. The use of large water and sediment diversions in the lower Mississippi River (Louisiana) for coastal restoration, J. Hydrology, 387, 346-360.

Anthony, E. J., A. Gardel, N. Gratiot, C. Proisy, Allison, M.A., F. Dolique, and F. Fromard, 2010. The Amazon-influenced muddy coast of South America: A review of mud-bank-shoreline interactions, Earth Sci. Rev., 103, 99-121.

Bianchi, T. S., M. A. Allison, P. Chapman, J. H. Cowan, M. J. Dagg, J. W. Day, S. F. DiMarco, R. D. Hetland, and R. Powell, 2010. New approaches to the Gulf hypoxia problem, Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Un., 91, 173-174.

Safak, I., A. Sheremet, M. A. Allison, and T.-J. Hsui, 2010. Bottom turbulence on the muddy Atchafalaya Shelf, Louisiana, USA, J. Geophys. Res., 115, C12019, 15pp., doi:10.1029/2010JC006157

Goff, J.A., Allison, M.A., and Gulick, S.P.S., 2010. Offshore transport of sediment during cyclonic storms: Hurricane Ike (2008), Texas Gulf Coast, USA. Geology 38:351-354.

Bianchi, T.S. and Allison, M.A., 2009. Large-river delta-front estuaries as natural “recorders” of global environmental change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:8085-8092.

Jaramillo S., Sheremet, A., Allison, M.A., Holland, K.T., and Reed, A.H., 2009. Wave-mud interactions over the muddy Atchafalaya subaqueous clinoform, Louisiana, United States: wave-supported sediment transport. J. Geophysical Research-Oceans 114:C04002, doi:10.1029/2008JC004821.

Mitra, S., Lalicata, J.J., Allison, M.A., and Dellapenna, T.M. 2009. The effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on seabed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58:851-857.

*Wilson, C.A. and Allison, M.A., 2008. Sediment dynamics and geomorphology of eroding marsh shorelines in southeastern Louisiana. Estuarine, Shelf and Coastal Science, 80:483-494.

Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., Chapman, P., Cowan, J.H., Jr., DiMarco, S.F., Hetland, R.D., Morse, J.W., and Rowe, G.T., submitted. Controlling hypoxia on the Louisiana Shelf (USA): beyond the nutrient-centric view. EOS—Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 89: doi:10.1029/2008EO260005.

Mayer, L.M., Schick, L.L., and Allison, M.A., 2008. Input of nutritionally rich organic matter from the Mississippi River to the Louisiana coastal zone. Estuaries and Coasts 31:1052-1062.

*Nittrouer, J.A., Allison, M.A., and Campanella, R., 2008. Evaluation of bedload transport in the lower Mississippi River: implications for sand transport to the Gulf of Mexico. J. Geophysical Research-Earth Surface Processes 113, F03004, doi:10.1029/ 2007JF000795.

*Galler, J.J. and Allison, M.A., 2008. Estuarine controls on fine-grained sediment storage in the lower Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. Geological Society of America Bulletin 120:386-398.

Allison, M.A., Bianchi, T.S., McKee, B.A., and Sampere, T.P., 2007. Carbon burial on river-dominated continental shelves: impact of historical changes in sediment loading adjacent to the Mississippi River. Geophysical Research Letters L01606, doi:10.1029/2006GL028362

Allison, M.A., Dellapenna, T.M., Goñi, M.A., and Sheremet, A., 2007. Impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Lili on the inner shelf of the Mississippi-Atchafalaya delta. Proceedings of the International Conference on Coastal Sediments 07. ISBN 0-7844-0926-9, 10 p.

Allison, M.A., Sheremet, A., Gõni, M.A., and Stone, G.W., 2005. Storm layer deposition on the Mississippi-Atchafalaya subaqueous delta generated by Hurricane Lili in 2002. Continental Shelf Research 25:2213-2232.

Allison, M.A. and *Lee, M.T. 2004. Sediment exchange between Amazon mudbanks and shore-fringing mangroves in French Guiana. Marine Geology 208:169-190.

Special Volumes/Monographs

Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., and Cai, W-J. in press. Biogeochemical Dynamics at Major River-Coastal Interfaces: Linkages with Global Change. Cambridge University Press, editors for 28 chapter book (co-author on 5 chapters as well).

Allison, M.A., DeGaetano, A.T., and Pasachoff, J.M., 2005. Earth Science, Holt-Reinhart and Winston, 954 p. (Texas State High-school Earth Sciences Adopted Text) Material Exchange Between Mangrove Systems and the Coastal Ocean.

F. Baltzer, M. Allison, F. Fromard (eds.), Marine Geology Special Volume, 2004. 208(2-4):113-225.

A Study of Sedimentation in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna Floodplain. 1995. FAP16 Sedimentation Working Group (M. Allison, S. Kuehl, H. Brammer, D. Barua, T. Martin), Bangladesh Flood Action Plan, US Agency for International Development, 188 p.

Technical Reports (peer reviewed)

Allison, M.A. and Duncan, D.A., 2006. Assessing Quantity and Quality of Sand Available in the Lower Atchafalaya River Channel for Coastal Marsh and Barrier Island Restoration in Louisiana. Final Technical Report for Subcontract C-190360, Governor’s Applied Coastal Research and Development Program, Baton Rouge, 63 p.

Allison, M.A. and *Nittrouer, J.A., 2004. Assessing Quantity and Quality of Sand Available in the Lower Mississippi River Channel for Coastal Marsh and Barrier Island Restoration in Louisiana. Final Technical Report for Subcontract C-162523, Governor’s Applied Coastal Research and Development Program, Baton Rouge, 55 p.

Schwab, W.C., Allison, M.A., *Lotto, L.L., Denny, J.F., Uchupi, E., Thieler, E.R., Foster, D.S., Swift, B.A., Danforth, W.W., Lanier, D.L., and Butman, B. 2002. High-resolution Quaternary Seismic Stratigraphy of the New York Bight Continental Shelf. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-152.

Schwab, W.C., Denny, J., Butman, B., Danforth, W.W., Foster, D.S., Swift, B.A., *Lotto, L.L., Allison, M.A., Thieler, E.R., and Hill, J.C., 2000. Seafloor characterization offshore of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area using sidescan-sonar. 2000. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report No. 00-295, 3 sheets.

Thieler, E.R., Schwab, W.C., Allison, M.A., Denny, J.F., and Danforth, W.W., 1998. Sidescan-sonar Imagery of the Shoreface and Inner Continental Shelf, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Reston, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report No. 98-596, 3 sheets.


RCSE 6800 – Introduction to River Science and Engineering