Water School

What is an estuary?

An estuary is a place where fresh and salt water mix, for example, a bay, salt marsh or where a river enters the ocean or Gulf of Mexico.

The Brazos River estuary is located on the upper Texas coast and is a riverine estuary that flows directly into the Gulf of Mexico rather than into a system of bays. Riverine estuaries, like the Brazos River estuary, are unique in that the area of the estuary is dependent on freshwater inflows versus typical bay like estuaries that are also influenced by evaporation and local precipitation.

The mouth of the Brazos River was originally located at the City of Surfside. Siltation of the original shipping docks caused by 1913 flooding initiated dam construction and channel diversion. The position of the riverine estuary, and associated delta was changed due to diversion of the channel to its current location in 1929.


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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

If you have questions about a post or would like additional information, please contact us or call 888-922-6272.

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