Sediment Plumes and 1 km MODIS Imagery

After a slow moving upper level trough moved through the area bringing widespread rainfall and a swath of heavy rains, the rivers across Southeast Texas rose leading to minor to moderate flooding. With the exodus of the trough the skies cleared and a MODIS pass afforded us with an excellent view of of the region.  Of note on Saturday were the sediment plumes from the elevated flow out the mouth of the Colorado, Brazos, Trinity, and Sabine rivers.

1km MODIS Imagery of Sediment Plumes Oct 31, 2009.

The second image depicts the changes on Sunday with area lakes highlighted.

Plumes on the following day.


TABS bouys showing down shore current magnitude.

Buoy and shore currents.

Rainfall from the West Gulf River Forecast Center

WGRFC Rainfall Accumulations.

6 thoughts on “Sediment Plumes and 1 km MODIS Imagery

  1. Kent, I like the features pointed out in this post. Thanks! As a quick question, does seeing the sediment like this affect your marine forecasts?

  2. I’m a big fan of this post. Previously, I wasn’t aware of how the true color imagery might show the effects of regional, heavy rainfall or sediment discharge.

  3. That is a great post! This is an unexpected use for this product. What are some of the specific geological and hydrological impacts that these sediment plumes have on the system?

  4. Geoffrey,

    It doesn’t have much impact on the marine forecast as we don’t have much of a bight impact with rough conditions where the fresh/saltwater collide here like they do in Portland, OR. I can only remember one time where the river flows had any impact on Galveston Bay and that was during our Oct 1994 tropical MCS flood. In the case of the the Colorado river the elevated flows do hamper or stop barge traffic up to the chemical plants near Sweeney. As for the geologic, I am not much help on that one. Of course when the clearer saltwater eddies near the coast the saltwater speckled trout fisherman typically have better fishing.

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