Is it possible too much of the incoming tidal water will be trapped in the deep ship channel instead of spreading out into the bay?

In a word, no. 

The physics of tidal flow are such that no change to the depth and shape of the Ship Channel could eliminate the tidal signal in the rest of the Bay.  As part of the permit application process for the Channel Improvement Project, the Port undertook modeling studies to evaluate the potential changes to tidal amplitude.  The model predicts that deepening the Ship Channel to -75’ from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island would result in a maximum change in tidal amplitude of less than one inch in Red Fish bay and a change of less than 0.5 inches in Aransas, Copano, Corpus Christi, and Nueces bays under spring tide conditions as compared to current conditions (-47’).   

The Port has also engaged Dr. Jim Gibeaut at TAMUCC’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies to conduct additional storm surge modeling to inform design decisions for the development at Harbor Island. The results of that work are expected in late spring, 2019.

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