Hydrological and biological studies of the Trinity River Delta, Texas

Engineering and Environmental Systems Section, Texas Department of Water Resources, Espey, Huston & Associates, Inc., Civil Engineering Department, University of Texas at Austin
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Texas Department of Water Resources

The methodology and data base formulations utilized in this study are summarized in Chapter I of this report. Chapter II describes a methodology for hydrodynamic analyses of river deltas. This mathematical model was applied to the Trinity River Delta to provide predictive capability for routing river and tidal flows. The application of the model to several high and low flow events in the delta is discussed. Chapter III describes the development of a water quality simulation model for river deltas. This mathematical model simulates the movement of non conservative biotic and abiotic constituents of flow. The application of this model to the Trinity River Delta is also described. The presence of toxic compounds in the water entering the Trinity River Delta is evaluated in Chapter IV. Possible sources for the presence of a number of heavy metals and pesticides are identified. Chapter V contains a discussion of the fisheries in Galveston Bay. The relationships are evaluated between freshwater inflows into the Trinity River Delta and historical commercial harvest in Galveston Bay of a variety of finfish and shellfish species. The effects of salinity concentrations upon the metabolism of several estuarine finfish species are presented. Chapter VI discusses the significance of the Trinity River Delta in providing nutrients for the aquatic food chain in Galveston Bay. A criteria is specified for the minimum depth and period of delta inundation required to release nutrients from the marsh into the bay waters. A number of flood events were simulated and the resulting inundation and nutrient exchange evaluation.

224 pgs.
biological surveys, hydrology, estuarine biology