Introduction to Area
The Rincon Bayou, located northwest of Corpus Christi, Texas, is part of the Nueces River delta. Over recent years, the bayou has suffered from anthropogenic effects resulting in reduced freshwater flow into the bayou.
Historically, the Rincon Bayou is subject to freshwater inundation following seasonal rainfall events farther inland along the Nueces River. The freshwater inundation provided the bayou with nutrients and enough freshwater to remove the saline from the estuarine system. However, in 1984 the Bureau of Reclamation built a dam along the Nueces River to create Choke Canyon, which has consequently caused a decrease in freshwater flow into the Rincon bayou. This decrease in freshwater flow has affected the wetland plant and macroinvertebrate communities. The hypersaline condition makes it difficult for plants to produce seeds and if seeds are produced, they often do not germinate.
|AIRSAR imagery of the Rincon Bayou acquired June 26, 1996. Bands C-HH, L-HH, and P-HH.||CAMS imagery over the Rincon Bayou acquired July 5, 1996. Bands 6,4, and 2. Wooded areas are bright red, while mud/sand flats are greyish-white. Fresh and brackish marshes are lighter shades of red and darker grey.|
The Rincon Bayou is a reverse bayou, where most of the water within the estuarine system is tidally influenced. The region dominated by mud/sand flats is the only region of the system that is event influenced.
Due to the lack of significant rainfall over the past year (Oct. 95 - Oct. 96) the effectiveness of the channel is still somewhat uncertain. At the peak of the drought in Summer 96, saline levels were as has as 140 ppm in open water bodies along the bayou.
Topography of the bayou is very flat, with elevations ranging from 0 to 16 ft. As with most wetland systems, slight elevation changes can show a distinct change in the vegetation type. Some of the roads and railroads within the bayou act as a dike and affect the flow of water. Water may only pass through two locations past the MOPAC railroad, which cuts the middle of the bayou.
UT Bureau of Economic Geology Wetlands Map of Rincon Bayou, 286 K
Airborne digital radar (AIRSAR) and optical (CAMS) imagery were acquired June 26, 1996 and July 5, 1996 respectively over the Rincon Bayou. The goal of this project is to investigate the use of high resolution imagery for wetland mapping and classification. The CAMS imagery acquired over the eastern portion of Rincon Bayou was unfortunately cloudy and is not being used for vegetative studies.
The initial classification will be focused primarily upon the vegetation (i.e. no industrial) of the Rincon Bayou. Due to the cloud cover, the prelimanary investigation of CAMS and AIRSAR covers the western portion of the bayou and does not include salt marshes, therefore they will not be included into the initial classification results. Visual interpretation of the CAMS and AIRSAR imagery yields the following vegetative classes that should be readily identifiable for the initial study:
Sunday, 01-Aug-2004 00:24:38 CDT
CSR/TSGC Team Web