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Hydrologic data for the Salt Bayou estuary near Sabine Pass, Texas, October 1984 to March 1986

Open-File Report 88-499

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Abstract

The Salt Bayou estuary, located in extreme southeast Texas near Sabine Pass, has been altered by construction of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The waterway has interrupted the historical saltwater-freshwater exchange in this important estuary. This alteration may have had a detrimental effect on fish production because of increased salinity, and on waterfowl production because of lower water levels.

There have been proposals to develop water control structures in the major channels that would enable some regulation of the saltwater in order to restore the estuary to its approximate historic state. A cooperative effort was initiated by the Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the U.S. Geological Survey to identify the fish species and their transport mechanisms. The U.S. Geological Survey's part of this effort was to describe the present hydrology of Salt Bayou.

The purpose of this report is to present the hydrologic data that were collected during October 1984 through March 1986. The initial data-collection network consisted of stage gages at Keith Lake Pass, the mouth of Salt Bayou, Ten Mile Cut, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Star Lake. A stage gage at the Alligator Bayou pumping plant became available later in the study. After 6 months of data were collected, the Ten Mile Cut gage was moved to Wildcow Bayou. The gages at Keith Lake Pass, the mouth of Salt Bayou, Ten Mile Cut, and Wildcow Bayou were equipped with water-velocity recording equipment. The Keith Lake Pass gage also had temperature and specific-conductance recording equipment.

Six 24-hour flow investigations were performed to calibrate the velocity recording equipment and to determine the flow at ungaged sites. Before and after these investigations, specific conductance was measured at 43 sites within the estuary.

Precipitation data were obtained from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stations at Port Arthur, Anahuac, and Sea Rim State Park and were used to estimate the contribution of freshwater from rainfall. Evaporation data were obtained from Beaumont Research Station and were used to make estimates of water consumption from evapotranspiration. Wind speed and direction were obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather station at Sea Rim State Park.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrologic data for the Salt Bayou estuary near Sabine Pass, Texas, October 1984 to March 1986
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
88-499
Year Published:
1988
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Austin, TX
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
Description:
v, 128 p.
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N