Field Investigation of the Hydraulics and Stability of Corpus Christi Water Exchange Pass, Texas



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Texas A&M University Civil Engineering Department


A field study was conducted at Corpus Christi Water Exchange Pass, an artificial tidal inlet connecting the southeast corner of Corpus Christi Bay, Texas with the Gulf of Mexico. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) the hydraulic characteristics of the inlet, (2) its reponse to various physical processes, and (3) the nature of its stability. Field work included current measurements, collection and analysis of sediment samples, and measurements of tidal fluctuations in the inlet and Corpus Christi Bay. Hydrographic data was obtained from a concurrent hydrographic study of Corpus Christi Water Exchange Pass conducted by University of Texas personnel. Tidal data for the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were analyzed along with the field data. The inlet has experienced shoaling in the vicinity of the gulf and bay mouths since its completion in August, 1972. Erosion of the bay shoreline near the inlet has occurred. A designed channel bend is partially responsible for erosion of the south bank of the inlet. Wind set-up, induced by the passage of cold fronts, influences flow velocities.


114 pages


Corpus Christi Water Exchange Pass, water currents, hydraulics