Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jude A. Benavides

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hicks

Third Advisor

Dr. John Breier


The Bahia Grande (BG) is an 8,500-acre set of coastal bays and wetlands located between Brownsville and Port Isabel, Tx, near the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) coastline. In 2005, the Carl Joe Gayman Pilot Channel was constructed to address hypersalinity concerns that resulted from natural and anthropogenically-caused tidal isolation since the early 1940’s. In 2022, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) increased the channel’s width and depth in anticipation of increasing tidal exchange ratios by a factor of two to three. Once the channel widening was complete, two SL-1500-3G side-looking acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCPs) were periodically deployed beneath the channel’s bridge crossing (Texas Highway 48) over a 6-month period and was further supplemented by periodic deployment of a River Surveyor-S5. Following the expansion of the channel, data from these sensors along with a new depth-to-volume relationship for the BG using GIS, confirmed improved tidal exchange ratios from a previous range of 5-10% to a range of 14.7-29.6%.


Copyright 2023 Sabas Lopez III. All Rights Reserved.