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31. Trinity Bay/Galveston Bay, Texas Gulf Coast
This 250-mm-lens Hasselblad photograph focuses on the Trinity Bay/Galveston Bay area seen from a distance in the previous slide. The smoothly curved sides of the bay have been sculpted by the scouring action of successive hurricane storm surges and runoff events (floods). The sediment plume streaming out of the bay into the Gulf of Mexico flows straight for only a short distance before it is washed westward by the longshore current.
In contrast with the smooth curves of the inlet, observe the comparatively straight length of the leading edge of the barrier islands. The Bolivar Peninsula to the east of the inlet shows a tendency to curve where the silt and sand have been trapped by a restraining jetty. By contrast, Galveston Island exhibits a pencil-straight coastal margin, its Gulf coast reinforced with a 17-foot high seawall constructed after the devastating hurricane of 1900. Most of the beach along the Galveston seawall was lost by wave attack during the storm surge of Hurricane Carla in 1961.
STS-51D, April 1985. Picture #23-40-019