The Episodic Evolution of Galveston Bay: Implications for Future Response to Global Change




Anderson, John B., and Antonio B. Rodriguez

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Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission


Preliminary results of a geological investigation into the evolution of Galveston Bay are reported. The information gained from this study is needed to predict the response of the bay and adjacent wetlands to increased rates of sea-level rise and climate change over the next one to two centuries. The modern Galveston Bay estuary has evolved over the past 11,000 years by flooding of the ancestral Trinity/Sabine river valley. The retreating coastal environments that occupied the valley, which include the river, its bayhead delta, the middle bay environment, and the lower bay tidally influenced environment, have retreated landward in a series of abrupt shifts of many kilometers. Available radiocarbon age data suggests that these dramatic environmental changes occurred over time intervals of decades to a few centuries.


pgs. 125-131


global change Galveston Bay