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{process}

The ecology of the oil and gas infrastructure is an extremely complex system and so in order to develop a coherent simulation it is necessary define the particular area of inquiry. In particular, I am interested in how the petrochemical infrastructure is inserted into the Louisiana’s Gulf Coast wetlands landscape. Many processes could be included- cutting of canals, insertion of pipelines, puncturing of wells, extracting hydrocarbons- which all alter the physical dimensions of the wetland ecosystem. However I would like to focus on possibly the most spatially extensive and hydrologically profound process of the oil and gas infrastructure- the incision of canals. The network of canals leaves a powerful geometric imprint on the landscape and the processes involved are fundamental to understanding how the industrial ecology has been woven into the natural ecology. Three resulting dynamics occur which I would like to model:

{1} dredging canals in terrain (incision / altered topography)

{2} intrusion of salt water (infiltration / altered hydrology)

{3} fragmentation of vegetation (disintegration / altered ecology)



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