Ervin G. Otvos, Ph.D.
- Head, Geology Section, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi
- Emeritus Professor, Dept. Coastal Sciences, USM
fax: (228) 872-4204
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Geological research involved the study of the lithology, depositional conditions, and ages of Neogene coastal units; primarily of the widespread Pliocene Citronelle Formation. Investigations included pseudokarst studies and the erosive role of spring sapping in beach foreshore. Cores from a network of shallow drillholes were studied in mainland, lagoonal, and island units. Stratigraphic work also involved main issues of the Quaternary development history of the coastal plain and stream terraces between SW Texas and the Florida Peninsula; microfossil-based facies content, dating, and valid identification of Quaternary shore and coastal stream terrace and mainland barrier development in glacial and interglacial periods. Cooperative studies involved identification of sediment sources by heavy mineral spectra, identification of SW Louisiana coastal terrace units and Mississippi coastal sand resources. Late Pleistocene and Holocene regional climate studies included Gulf coast aridity episodes: recognition and absolute age-dating of wind-accumulated dune-hill and sand-sheet trends between east Texas and the Florida Panhandle. In combination with mainland and island barrier development, studies dealt with the much-debated Quaternary sea-level history and correct definition of the barrier island and beach ridge concepts. We were involved in subsurface and field investigation of barrier islands on the northeastern Gulf based on lithology, microfossil content, luminescence dates, and sediment stratigraphy based on drillcores and outcrop information between the Apalachicola and the Chandeleurs of Louisiana. The interaction between island evolution and the smothering impact of late Holocene Mississippi subdeltas were among important research topics. NASA-sponsored studies of sediment transport issues, issues of hurricane overwash cyclicity, related coastal effects, post-storm recovery history and vulnerability factors of the Alaama-Mississippi and Chandeleur, Louisiana barrier island chains continue in close cooperation with the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center (GCGC) at USM, Gulfport.