Hydrology of non-riverine freshwater wetlands of the upper Texas coast.
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Clapp, Adam G.
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Coastal Prairie Freshwater Wetlands (CPFWs) are characterized by depressions and flats that occur in the Galveston Bay area. Studies estimate that over 9,000 acres of CPFWs were lost between 1992 and 2002. The cumulative loss of water quality and flood storage function may have detrimental effects on water quality and flood attenuation. There are few quantitative data available to explain the hydrologic processes of palustrine (freshwater) wetlands. This study monitored six individual CPFWs with a combination of weirs, piezometers and rain gages; each with data loggers to record wetland, groundwater and nearby surface water levels. Data were collected for approximately 18 months with some gaps due to the effects of Hurricane Ike. Water budgets were calculated to evaluate storage volumes, discharge, and potential “nexus” with receiving waters. All the monitored wetlands discharged during the study, stored significant amounts of the annual water budget and were affected by seasons.