Texas Coastal Geology

Richard L. Watson, Ph.D.

P.O. Box 1040 Port Aransas, TX 78373
361-749-4152 send email



Solution Graphics

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Texas Coast Aerial Photography

Reports and Papers that can be downloaded as Adobe PDF files

Click here to view a very moving slide show of an Indian warrior wake, 1.5 mb.


Dr. Watson presented an invited paper at the Geological Society of American national convention in Denver on the 28th of October, 2007.  The keynote session is titled "Identifying America’s Most Vulnerable Oceanfront Communities: A Geological Perspective."    Click the following link to read the abstract.


You can click here to download a narrated copy of the presentation.  It is about 13 MB, so it will take time to download.  Download the file surfsidesound.pps.   

Or you can click here to play the slide show directly.


Dr. Watson gave a presentation titled Severe Erosion of Texas Beaches Caused by Engineering Modifications to the Coast and Rivers at the Harte Research Institute auditorium, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday January 19, 2007.  The proposed 350 ft. setback for construction on Nueces County barrier islands was discussed.  A PowerPoint slide show of this talk with narration as presented at the Harte Institute can be downloaded at the following link.  The presentation is about 70 megabytes and will take about 15 minutes to download on a fast connection.  

Please go to the following page and download the file "erosion.pps".


With very few exceptions, the Gulf beaches of Texas are eroding with rates varying from a few feet per year to over 15 feet per year.  Construction of long jetties at major navigational inlets has locked huge quantities of beach sand into permanent storage, compartmentalizing the coast and starving down current beaches of sand, while flood control and water supply dams on rivers that flow to the Gulf have reduced the sand supply to Gulf beaches.  Long term shoreline retreat on most of Mustang Island and North Padre Island is 2 to 3 feet per year or more.  These and other changes have initiated irreversible erosion of our Texas Gulf of Mexico beaches.  Even without predicted sea level rise this means that the shorelines will retreat 100 to 150 feet OR MORE in the next 50 years.  The 350 foot setback for new construction proposed by Nueces County will prevent many future problems by leaving a zone where new dunes can be artificially created as the present dune line is eroded back.  Without this, it will not be long before major valuable buildings will be facing destruction unless the shoreline is armored with seawalls, a very undesirable fix.

 Web Page to Protect the Natural Dune Seawall at Port Aransas, Check for updates

Click here to view hurricane flood and surge maps for Port Aransas

Protect the Natural Dune Seawall: Our First Line of Defense Against Hurricanes  was presented by Richard L. Watson, Ph.D. at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute on January 12, 2006.  I am available to present this talk to your group in the Coastal Bend.

Protect the Natural Dune Seawall and Prevent Hurricane Destruction at Port Aransas, Texas

Resume, Richard L. Watson, Ph.D.

Recommendations for Richard L. Watson, Ph.D.

Read a wonderful article about Dr. John Wesley (Wes) Tunnell, teacher, researcher and builder of  fine marine research institutions  (Texas Shores magazine, winter 2006 issue)

Packery Channel Information

Through the Storm on Viking,
sailing a 46 foot wood sailboat through the eye of  Tropical Storm Dottie

Hurricane Emily Photos, Radar, Track and Satellite Photos

Port Aransas and Mustang Island, Texas Real Estate for Sale

Links to useful sites about the Texas Coast

Photo Collections