Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM
RAPID CHANGES IN ESTUARY EVOLUTION WITHIN CORPUS CHRISTI BAY, TEXAS, USA
Over the last 10 ka, the wave-dominated estuaries of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico have undergone several dramatic changes in response to sea-level and climatic oscillations. Using over 400 km of high resolution seismic, 53 cores up to 20 m in length, and over 40 radiocarbon dates, the history of one of these estuaries Corpus Christi Bay was studied in detail. Cores and seismic profiles show dramatic changes in lithofacies and seismic character, indicating changes in estuarine environments (i.e. bayhead deltas, oyster reefs, and tidal deltas) around 8 ka, 4.8 ka, and 2.5 ka. Km-scale shifts in the location of estuarine environments occurred at submillenial time scales even during a period of slow sea level rise. This is attributed to the important role of antecedent topography and climate change in estuarine evolution.