The purpose of the WDD is to facilitate the development and use of a public domain distributed knowledge base on modern global deltaic systems.   It is hoped that this knowledge will be of value to teachers, research scientists, government and state agencies, and policy developers at all levels of administration.

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The idea for a World Delta Database was first broached by George Hart to Jim Coleman in the early 1980's.  Hart, at that time was teaching Deltaic Geology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at LSU, and Coleman was actively involved in teaching Deltaic Short Courses, and as Director of the Coastal Studies Institute, LSU., with day-to-day research on world deltas.  The original idea was to develop a resource for teaching and research using the information on Deltas archived at LSU, and in particular within the files of the Coastal Studies Institute, the Department of Geology and Geophysics and the Louisiana Geological Survey. The idea was never dropped  but a data base was not initiated until George Hart set-up the initial framework to accommodate his work on the Delta's of Peninsular India, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, through the America Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, India [1983-2002].  

In the mid-1990's Hart gave up his position as Research Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey and then took Professor emeritus with LSU.  Shortly afterward Jim Coleman, also gave up his Executive Vice Chancellor position, at LSU,  and soon afterwards took Professor emeritus status.  At this point the time was available to develop the World Deltas Database.  Both Hart and Coleman were aware  that a huge amount of data was available, world-wide, locked within filing cabinets, in numerous institutions.  In particular they were concerned about the work available on deltas that was available in Louisiana and in petroleum industry files.  The latter was particularly pertinent as numerous energy companies were consolidating and literally throwing away data that could not be replaced.  Both Hart and Coleman were acutely aware of this problem.

The initial framework for the World Delta Database was written by George Hart to accommodate his own work on the deltas of Peninsular India, and that of Jim Coleman and his colleagues at the Coastal Studies Institute, LSU.  In particular Jim's  work with Oscar Huh, Professor emeritus, LSU,  became an important contribution as it allowed modern satellite data to be included. 

In the mid-1990's Hart approached John Kineman, at the Geophysical Data Center, Boulder about the possibility of establishing an archive site at the Federal level.  In 2004 Kineman began to actively participate in developing a WDD network, with the idea that a Federal WDD archival site might be established.  The reason for using a Federal [or Internationally] sponsored site for the archival data is to give the WDD a legitimacy that avoids regional and personal 'empires';  and, places the information clearly in the public domain.

By the end of 2004 George Hart had re-written the WDD framework and included within the first version of WDD some of the work of Coleman, Huh and himself.  The official first version of  WDD is version 1-05 [January, 2005]. Earlier material placed on the web [in late 2004] was primarily for comment.

Due credits.

In order to give due credit to  multiple contributors the WDD suggests the following dual method of citation. 

For general reference: The World Deltas Database Framework, by George F. Hart, and James Coleman, Louisiana State University:  

For specific reference: WDD contributed data by [author]:

The WDD is arranged such that individual contributions are recognized directly within the text.  Each individual contribution is separated by a solid blue line.  Contributions that are not specifically noted in the text should  be assigned to Hart and Coleman.


The  WDD is placed in the Public Domain for non-commercial use.  Links to WDD may be placed on other web-sties without written or expressed permission. Individual non-commercial sites can be established using the WDD framework without written or expressed permission. Mirror web-sites of WDD may be established without written or expressed permission.  Any commercial usage of the WDD should be reported to the WDD contact person listed below.

WDD is available online as at  After downloading the file it must be expanded into its own directory. 

Additional data can be added to the WDD framework by either adding personal data, downloading files from other sources, or adding links to specific sections of the WDD.  The WDD is written in the web-language HTML, initially using MS FrontPage.

During 2009 it is anticipated that the following additional work  will be made available as .zip files that can be downloaded and added into the WDD framework.

1    Data sets of X-ray mineralogy  from sediments and soils of Peninsular India and Louisiana. [Hart].

2.    Replacements for the currently empty fields in WDD ver. 01-05. [Coleman et al.]

3.    Previously proprietary data on the Louisiana deltaic system. [Hart].

4.    Field Photograph files, providing images  at ground level.

5.    Previously unavailable reports as ePublications.

6.    Additions to the inventory of World Deltas list.

The hope is that a network of WDD sites will be established with an archival site that accumulates the knowledge from separate sites


    Numerical list of deltas included in this version of WDD.

    Alphabetical inventory of world deltas.

    A partial bibliography of world deltas.

    Wetland loss in deltas    Contributed by Coleman et al 2004b.

      Delta statistics                Contributed by Coleman et al 2004b.

CONTACT [ Professor George F. Hart ]  [Boyd Professor James Coleman]