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Discharge between San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay, southern Gulf Coast, Texas, May-September 1999

Fact Sheet 082-01

In cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board
By:

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Abstract

Along the Gulf Coast of Texas, many estuaries and bays are important habitat and nurseries for aquatic life. San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay, located about 50 and 30 miles northeast, respectively, of Corpus Christi, are two important estuarine nurseries on the southern Gulf Coast of Texas (fig. 1). According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Almost 80 percent of the seagrasses [along the Texas Gulf Coast] are located in the Laguna Madre, an estuary that begins just south of Corpus Christi Bay and runs southward 140 miles to South Padre Island. Most of the remaining seagrasses, about 45,000 acres, are located in the heavily traveled San Antonio, Aransas and Corpus Christi Bay areas” (Shook, 2000).

Population growth has led to greater demands on water supplies in Texas. The Texas Water Development Board, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission have the cooperative task of determining inflows required to maintain the ecological health of the State’s streams, rivers, bays, and estuaries. To determine these inflow requirements, the three agencies collect data and conduct studies on the need for instream flows and freshwater/ saline water inflows to Texas estuaries.

To assist in the determination of freshwater inflow requirements, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, conducted a hydrographic survey of discharge (flow) between San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay during the period May–September 1999. Automated instrumentation and acoustic technology were used to maximize the amount and quality of data that were collected, while minimizing personnel requirements. This report documents the discharge measured at two sites between the bays during May–September 1999 and describes the influences of meteorologic (wind and tidal) and hydrologic (freshwater inflow) conditions on discharge between the two bays. The movement of water between the bays is controlled primarily by prevailing winds, tidal fluctuations, and freshwater inflows. An adequate understanding of mixing and physical exchange in the estuarine waters is fundamental to the assessment of the physical, chemical, and biological processes governing the aquatic system.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Discharge between San Antonio Bay and Aransas Bay, southern Gulf Coast, Texas, May-September 1999
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
082-01
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
Description:
HTML Document; Report: 6 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Texas
Other Geospatial:
Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay