Submerged Lands of Texas

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    Submerged lands of Texas, Kingsville area : sediments, geochemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, and associated wetlands
    (University of Texas at Austin. Bureau of Economic Geology, 1989) University of Texas at Austin. Bureau of Economic Geology; White, William Allen, 1939-
    The State-owned submerged lands of Texas encompass almost 6,000 mi2 (15,540 km2). They lie below waters of the bay-estuary-lagoon system and the Gulf of Mexico and extend 10.3 mi (16.6 km) seaward from the Gulf shoreline (fig. 1). The importance of these lands and their resources to resident flora and fauna as well as to people is well known and documented; more than one-third of the state's population is concentrated within an area of the Coastal Zone that is only about one-sixteenth of the state's land area. Present and future interactions of human activities (which include energy, mineral, transportational, recreational, and industrial development) with submerged lands demand a comprehensive understanding of the potential short-term and long-term effects of these interactions. Such an understanding must rest largely on a detailed inventory of the basic components of these lands. The Submerged Lands of Texas Project was designed in part to accomplish this objective (McGowen and Morton, 1979). Initiated in 1975, the Submerged Lands of Texas Project was based primarily on an intensive sampling program in which approximately 6,700 surficial bottom samples were collected at regularly spaced distances across the submerged lands. The sample-collection phase of the study was followed by an analytical phase that included detailed sedimentological, geochemical, and biological analyses. Many of the samples were analyzed to characterize submerged lands in terms of (1) sediment distribution, (2) selected trace and major element concentrations, and (3) benthic macroinvertebrate populations. Additionally, the interconnection of submerged lands with adjacent marshes and associated wetlands led to an expansion of the project to include the distribution of wetlands. Maps and reports derived from the study were published as a series of seven atlases of the Texas coast, divided into areas (fig. 1) similar to those defined in the Bureau's Environmental Geologic Atlas Series (Brown, 1972-1980) and in a special report on submerged lands in Texas (McGowen and Morton, 1979). Each of the submerged lands atlases includes a text describing the maps of sediment types, sediment geochemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, and wetlands. The atlas of the Corpus Christi area (White and others, 1983) was the first in the Submerged Lands of Texas series; this atlas of the Kingsville area is the seventh and last in the series.