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Feb 11-12 CCGS Fieldtrip: Rio Grande Delta

The Rio Grande Delta and its Surroundings: Frontiers of Geoscience and Development

Saturday-Sunday, February 11-12, 2017

Sponsored by the Corpus Christi Geological Society; Leaders:

  • Thomas E. EWING, Frontera Exploration Consultants, San Antonio, TX
  • Juan L. GONZALEZ, Dept. of Env. Sciences, UT-Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX

Join your colleagues on a two-day exploration of the Rio Grande Delta, a unique delta-shoreline complex at the southern tip of Texas. The Rio Grande delta is one of the major deltas of North America. Over 1,600,000 people live on the Holocene delta plain and its Pleistocene ancestors, yet geologic knowledge is limited.

 The delta was formed by the sediment-rich Rio Grande/Rio Bravo during the Altithermal. The river carried huge but irregular flows into a semiarid environment. Eolian activity has extensively modified the delta plain. Human settlement and infrastructure has exploited the delta and its river, such that recovering natural conditions and values is a present challenge. Major historical developments, including Mexican War and Civil War battle sites, will be addressed as well.

Combining available geologic information with global satellite photography gives a balanced view of an important delta. But a lot of work remains to be done! Come help define the problems and the ways we can resolve them. We will visit:

  • The South Texas eolian sand sheet and Sal del Rey, an historic salt deposit
  • Lagunas, esteros, and distributary channels in the Holocene floodplain
  • Clay dunes and the 'hilly delta'; erosion and accretion
  • Transgressive shoreline at Boca Chica and South Padre
  • Irrigation and drainage features, and preserved battlefields
  • Thick Oligocene ash in the upper valley-side bluffs near Rio Grande City

Logistics:   Trip departs from Corpus Christi, TX 9am Saturday (place TBA), and returns to Corpus Christi, TX about 6:30 pm Sunday.  Bus transportation, hotel (double occupancy), guide materials, breakfast burritos, lunches, and water are provided. You cover: dinner, personal items.

Cost:    Estimated at $300, minimum 15 participants.  More details to follow.

Contact:     If you're coming, please contact the trip leaders:

    Thomas Ewing

    Juan Gonzalez

    Dawn Bissell