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5th Bi-Annual Basics of the Basin Symposium

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Jim Flocks answers questions
Jim Flocks answers a question about Lake Pontchartrain surficial sediments and geochemistry at the poster session/ice breaker during the 2000 Bi-Annual Basics of the Basin Symposium.
The U.S. Geological Survey has supported research in Lake Pontchartrain Basin for the last five years. As part of that study, we have co-sponsored and co-hosted a bi-annual research symposium that is organized by the Pontchartrain Research Committee, formed in 1992 shortly after the first Basics of the Basins Research Symposium was held. The mission of the committee is to promote good science for the Pontchartrain Basin. Other sponsors include the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the Freeport-MacMoran Project Pontchartrain Ecosystem Research and Education Program, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and NOAA Coastal Services Center, South Carolina.

The 5th Bi-Annual Basics of the Basin Research Symposium was held May 18th-20th at the University of New Orleans (UNO). An invited session focusing on the results from the CMGP's Geologic Framework and Coastal Processes Study of Lake Pontchartrain Basin opened the symposium. Jack Kindinger and Shea Penland were moderators for the opening session. There were nine oral presentations given by USGS personnel and collaborators including Jack, Jim Flocks, and Marci Marot (SPFC), Frank Manheim (Reston), Rich Signell (WHFC), and Shea, Jeff Waters, and Gordon Yamazaki (UNO).

Rich Signell demos models
Video demos: As part of the display, video clips were used to demonstrate the deployment and recovery of vibracores. Also, computer-simulated visual models were used to show how winds and currents move sediments around in Lakes Pontchartrain and Borgne. Here, Rich Signell is illustrating current circulation within the lakes.
Jack presented a synopsis of the Pontchartrain cooperative studies that took place between 1994 and 1999 and described the geologic framework of the study area. Jim gave results from downcore trace-metal studies that indicate that metals concentrations have increased over background levels during the last 60 years. Frank summarized how geochemical databases developed during the study can help understand sediment geochemical and environmental relations within Lake Pontchartrain. Marci discussed surficial sediment dynamics and use of the Be7 depositional indicator in recent sediment-accumulation patterns. Rich provided a very good overview of circulation, waves, and sediment resuspension in Lake Pontchartrain.

There were several talks by collaborators including Shea, Jeff, and Gordon. Following these talks, Jack presented a short synthesis of the overall project and opened discussion to the audience for remarks and possible future direction for basin research. The session was well attended with good audience participation. Besides oral presentations, a project-overview exhibit was presented during the poster session.

Thanks go to a number of people who helped with this project and session but who were unable to attend: Paul Connors, Laura Hayes, Chuck Holmes, Laura Lacy, Jeff List, Phil McCarty, Mike Stallings, Karen Westphal, Debra Willard, and Jeff Williams.

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