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Images: The Once and Future Danube River Delta

Geologist Liviu Giosan, WHOI, and colleagues have been reconstructing the evolution of the Danube River Delta, along the Black Sea coast of Romania and Ukraine. Based on evidence collected from sediments, Giosan believes the delta formed in the sequence shown in this animation. The Tulcea lobe, or section, of the delta started to form first and has been building and evolving continuously. The building of the other lobes has not necessarily followed a linear path, and the researchers are still not quite sure when the Chilia I and II lobes were formed in the 6,000-year evolution of the modern Danube Delta. (Jack Cook and Katherine Joyce, WHOI Graphic Services. Background image courtesy of NASA.) (Jack Cook and Katherine Joyce, WHOI Graphic Services. Background image courtesy of NASA. )

Using a small "dormitory" boat, Liviu Giosan and colleagues cruise through a man-made canal in the St George lobe of the Danube Delta is search of sites from which they could draw sediment cores. The history of the 6,000 year old river delta is written in the sand and soil buried beneath the wetlands. (Courtesy of Liviu Giosan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Liviu Giosan (left) of WHOI, and Emil Vespremeanu (right) and Ionutz Ovejanu (kneeling) of the University of Bucharest use and auger to bore holes into the swale on a beach ridge on the St. George II lobe of the Danube Delta. (Courtesy of Liviu Giosan)

Winds peel back the sands and reveal a useful, stratified outcrop in a dune on the Caraorman beach ridge plain (on the St. George I lobe). (Photo by Liviu Giosan, WHOI)