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Streamflow analysis of the Apalachicola, Pearl, Trinity, and Nueces River basins, southeastern United States

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4043

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf of Mexico Program
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Abstract

Annual mean streamflow and annual minimum and maximum daily mean streamflows were compared with associated annual index precipitation for sites on the main channels and tributaries of four major rivers that discharge directly into the Gulf of Mexico. Long- and short-term precipitation trends were identified for selected streamflow stations with at least 40 years of record.

Long-term temporal trends in annual mean streamflow and annual maximum daily mean streamflow to the Gulf were not identified from the Apalachicola River Basin for the period of record studied. Annual mean and maximum streamflow to the Gulf increased with time from the Pearl River Basin and decreased from the Trinity River Basin. Annual mean streamflow showed varied trends and annual maximum streamflow decreased from the Nueces River Basin. Annual minimum streamflow to the Gulf increased in all of the basins studied. The annual index precipitation associated with the most downstream station also increased during the periods of record studied in all four of the basins. Short-term trends in streamflow generally corresponded to trends in associated annual index precipitation for each station. For some streamflow stations in the Trinity River Basin, short-term trends in annual minimum streamflow increased while annual maximum streamflow decreased.

Total reported surface-water withdrawals have increased more than fourfold in the Trinity River Basin since 1940. Surface-water withdrawals from the Trinity River Basin in 1988 represent about one-fourth of the annual mean streamflow near the mouth. Total withdrawals increased more than eightfold in the Nueces River Basin since 1940. Surface-water withdrawals from the Nueces River Basin in 1988 represent about one-third of the annual mean streamflow near the mouth.

Effects of selected reservoirs on streamflow in the four basins also were studied. Predicted peak streamflow into the Gulf from the Apalachicola River was about 23 percent less for the 50- year peak streamflow after reservoir construction. Although one large reservoir was built on the Pearl River and many reservoirs have been built on the Trinity River and its tributaries, peak streamflow into the Gulf of Mexico from these rivers has not been affected during the past 50 years. Estimates from a water-budget analysis showed that the annual mean streamflow to the Gulf from the Nueces River was reduced by about 24 percent from 1985 through 1990 as a result of filling and evaporation at Choke Canyon Reservoir.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Streamflow analysis of the Apalachicola, Pearl, Trinity, and Nueces River basins, southeastern United States
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
95-4043
Year Published:
1995
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Austin, TX
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
Description:
vi, 64 p.
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Apalachicola, Nueces, Pearl, and Trinity River basins
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N