Coastal Subsidence, Sea Level and the Future of the Gulf Coast Conference

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“Coastal Subsidence, Sea Level and the Future of the Gulf Coast ”
A Conference to increase awareness of subsidence issues facing the Gulf Coast Region 

November 3, 4, and 5, 2005 from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm; 
Registration table opens at 7:30 am

The Houston Geological Society and the Engineering, Science and Technology Council of Houston have joined together to provide a non-profit, community service conference, “Coastal Subsidence, Sea Level and the Future of the Gulf Coast ” on November 3, 4, and 5 at the Northwest Conference Center in Cypress (Greater Houston area), Texas . 
The idea for this conference keys off a recently released report which was funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Technical Report NOS/NGS 50: “Rates of Vertical Displacement at Benchmarks in the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Northern Gulf Coast”, co-authored by Kurt D. Shinkle and Dr. Roy K. Dokka.  This report “describes the methods and results of research into the recent rates and spatial distribution on subsidence of benchmarks” in Louisiana .  “The analysis was accomplished by first-order leveling data and GPS observations from the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and water level (tide gauge) data from the National Ocean Service.”  This general process is known as “height modernization.”  The importance of this report is that it quantifies subsidence rates and demonstrates that the benchmarks are themselves subsiding and are no longer accurate.  This subsidence is largely due to the natural earth process of tectonic subsidence, which cannot be controlled by mankind, but if we know about it, we can plan around its effects.  Petroleum Geologists who explore in the Gulf of Mexico region are not surprised at this observation, because our work has shown that the Gulf Coast has been subsiding for +/-190 million years.  Unfortunately, the press and public agencies commonly have focused only on man-induced causes.  This report has gotten the attention of Louisiana policy makers.  Unfortunately, Texas is lagging behind in understanding the full, complex nature of the subsidence budget, including the tectonic component, in particular. 

The general purpose of the conference is to increase public and governmental awareness and to provide for a thorough discussion of all aspects of the subsidence issue.  The desired outcome of the conference is to open lines of communication, so that policy makers, their technical advisors and the public will have a better understanding of coastal subsidence, how to quantify and predict it, as well as plan infrastructure around its effects. 

The first day of the three-day conference will be devoted to understanding coastal subsidence, how to measure the mechanisms of subsidence and how to analyze for each component’s contribution to the overall subsidence budget.  This will be in the format of a scientific technical conference.  Speakers will present their data, with a special focus and description of their methodology of data collection and analysis, as well as their conclusions.  Time will be allotted for questions from the audience.  This day will look at all aspects of the issue from a number of vantage points. 

On the second day, the focus will be twofold: one part on assessing the economic and cultural impact and the second part on reviewing mitigation efforts, options, and consequences.  This day will be directed especially towards policy makers and the public. 

 A field trip on the third day will visit sites of active faulting and subsidence within the Houston area  (field trip itinerary).   

Before 5 PM Oct. 26
Oct. 27 or Later
All Three Days
Thursday Night Banquet (optional)
Thursday (one day) Only
Friday (one day) Only
Thursday and Friday (two days) Only
Field Trip Only
Prices include continental breakfast and lunch
Banquet is optional and not included in three day registration

 7 Professional Development Hours (0.7 CEU) are earned by attending each day of this conference 

 See “Comments&rdqu

November 3rd, 2005 8:30 AM   through   November 5th, 2005 5:00 PM
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