Longitudinal turbidity structures in a bar-built coastal plain estuary, Corpus Christi Bay, Texas
Corpus Christi Bay is a shallow, bar-built variety of estuary that is characteristic of the South Texas Coastal Plain. On the basis of synoptic in situ measurements of light transmissivity and suspended-sediment concentrations at six monitoring stations, a time sequence of six turbidity structures was established along the longitudinal trend of the bay and its tidal inlet over a 16-month observation period. The bay turbidity structures were observed to be highly variable in time and space. Structures ranged from a vertically homogeneous water column, to a well-stratified column exhibiting an increasing turbidity gradient with depth. Wind appeared to be the dominant forcing agent influencing turbidity toward the bayhead sector, where it both generates waves for bottom-sediment resuspension and regulates fluvial sediment influx from the Nueces River. Turbidity toward the baymouth sector appeared to be dominantly regulated by tidal forcing effects from Aransas Pass inlet. Both the discharge characteristics of the Nueces River and the mean density of the bay's water column had no discernible influence on the observed bay turbidity structures.
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Longitudinal turbidity structures in a bar-built coastal plain estuary, Corpus Christi Bay, Texas|
|Series title||Open-File Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Other Geospatial||Corpus Christi Bay|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|