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Title: Hydraulics and dynamics of New Corpus Christi Pass, Texas: a case history, 1973-75
Authors: University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute
Watson, Richard L.
Behrens, E. William
Keywords: Corpus Christi Pass, Texas
Inlet Hydraulics
Longshore Sediment Transport
Tidal Discharge
Tidal Inlets
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.) General Investigation of Tidal Inlets Research Program
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: General Investigation of Tidal Inlets Report
Abstract: A case history of the hydraulics and sedimentation of the Corpus Christi Water Exchange Pass, Texas, primarily from 1973 to 1975 is presented. This pass, and the larger Aransas Pass, connect Corpus Christi Bay with the Gulf of Mexico. Quantitative data on longshore sediment transport, tidal differentials across the pass, flood and ebb tidal discharge. wind waves, and local winds explain most of the bathymetric changes which have occurred in the flood tidal delta, baymouth shoreline, channel, gulf mouth, bar bypassing system, and the adjacent Gulf of Mexico Beaches. Dominant onshore winds produce gulf setup and bay setdown such that, with the exception of the duration of anticyclonic events with north winds, the pass is highly flood-dominated. Heavy surf in the pass mouth and the longshore bars sweeping around the short jetties provide the gulf mouth with a large sediment supply which must be flushed by tidal discharge if the pass is to remain open. Flood dominance combined with a long channel require that most of the littoral drift entering the channel be carried through its entire length to be deposited on the flood tidal delta rather than be returned seaward by ebb flow. Continued shoaling of the channel supports stability concepts of O'Brien (1931), Bruun and Gerritsen (1960), Escoffier (1940), and others which suggest that the pass is of marginal stability with a tendency towards closure. The stability diagram conceived by Escoffier and developed by O'Brien and Dean (1972) using Keulegan's inlet hydraulics shows the most promise for interpreting future behavior of the pass. Shoaling to a minimum cross-sectional area of less than 500 square feet (146 square meters) over a channel length of 500 to 1,000 feet (150 to 300 meters) will probably lead to rapid closure.
Rights: Approved for Public Release, Distribution is Unlimited
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