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Title: Hydraulics and dynamics of New Corpus Christi Pass, Texas: a case history, 1972-73
Authors: Texas A&M University
University of Texas at Austin, Marine Science Institute
Behrens, E. Williams
Watson, Richard L.
Mason, Curtis, 1940-
Keywords: Corpus Christi Pass, Texas
Frictional Resistance
Inlet Hydraulics
Longshore Sediment Transport
Tidal Discharge
Tidal Hydraulics
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: In 1972, a 2-mile channel was dredged through Mustang Island, Texas, to increase water exchange and fish migration between Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The pass' initial adjustment to tides, waves and other forces was measured in the first year following the opening. Hydraulic and sedimentary effects of the pass were studied by obtaining detailed bathymetric, topographic, and hydraulic surveys of the pass and adjacent gulf beaches; daily wave observations provided information on the seasonal variability in wave height, period and direction. An estimated 1 million cubic yards of sand accumulated at the pass during construction of two gulf jetties. Thereafter, a loss of sand greater than the estimated net annual longshore transport rate occurred on beaches south (downdrift) of the jetties. Considerable sediment was deposited on shoals at the bay end of the pass with little accumulation in the pass. Hydraulic measurements indicate that channel frictional resistance increased by about 50 percent over the study period, although greater variability occurred during individual tidal cycles. Tidal discharge through the pass was highly dependent upon variations in the gulf tides, with equal volumes of ebb and flood flows during diurnal tides and strong flood predominance during mixed and semidiurnal cycles. The average discharge through the pass was only about 3 percent of the total tidal prism of Corpus Christi Bay, indicating that the bay tides, which partly control flow through the pass, result primarily from passage of the tide through Aransas Pass, the major bay-gulf connection. The pass was marginally stable during the first year, but the wide range of climatic conditions in the region will probably cause the pass to be stable in some years and unstable in others. Although the pass undoubtably influences bay water within the immediate vicinity, no significant effect on flushing of Corpus Christi Bay resulted from pass construction.
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