Bureau of Economic Geology


High Island High School

School Website: http://www.highislandisd.com

2021-2022 field trip data: HighIslandHS2021-22.pdf

Presentation by Jordan Grubbs at the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF) Student Symposium on March 11, 2022 

Galleries: 2016-2017  |  2017-2018  |  2018-2019  |  2019-2020  |  2020-2021  |  2021-2022 

High Island High School joined THSCMP in early 2016. Science students collect data from three sites on Bolivar Peninsula. Two of the monitoring sites are adjacent to Rollover Pass, BOL02 to the west and BOL03 to the east of the Pass (Fig. 1). The third site (HIB01) is seaward of High Island just past the eastern end of Highway 87 (Fig. 1).

High Island beach erosion

Figure 1. Location map of High Island High School monitoring sites.

The beach at HIB01 has seen significant changes including a reset of the datum point (Fig. 2). Between the fall of 2018 and spring of 2021, HIHS students were unable to access the site at High Island Beach because of roadway construction at the intersection of Highway 87 and Texas 124. During that time, the shoreline moved landward 25 meters (just landward of the original profile datum location) and the vegetation line moved 45 meters landward, due in part to the impacts of the 2020 hurricane season (Fig. 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2. Changes to High Island Beach site HIB01. (A) Beach profiles showing movement of shoreline landward between 2017 and 2022. The original profile datum was lost between 2018 and 2021 and was reset during the November 2021 field trip. (B) GPS mapped vegetation line positions between 2017 and 2022. (C) Photography documenting the status of the shoreline and vegetation line on February 1, 2017; October 4, 2017 (post-Harvey); and April 7, 2022. Notice the pavement debris that was at the berm crest in early 2017 was deposited at the vegetation line by Harvey. The pump jack just visible on the left edge of the October 2017 photo is in the middle of the backbeach in April 2022 indicating how far the vegetation line moved landward.

HIHS students monitor sites adjacent to Rollover Pass, BOL02 to the west and BOL03 to east. Rollover Pass was cut across Bolivar Peninsula in 1955 with the intention of improving water quality in Rollover Bay and Galveston East Bay. The opening of the pass caused significant erosion to the adjacent beaches and sand and sediment to be deposited in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was required to annually dredge and remove sediment from the ICW adjacent to Rollover Bay at significant cost. Due to these issues, the Texas Legislature authorized the General Land Office to close the pass. Construction began at the end of September 2019 and completed in spring 2020. High Island students collected baseline data from BOL02 (Fig. 3) and BOL03 (Fig. 4) and will be monitoring how the closure of Rollover Pass impacts these beaches in the future. In addition, students started mapping the shoreline across the mouth of former Rollover Pass during the 2021—22 academic year (Fig. 5).

Figure 3

Figure 3. HIHS beach monitoring at BOL02 west of Rollover Pass. (A) Beach profiles showing the changes in topography at the site between February 2016 and April 2022. (B) Photograph looking east along the vegetation line and low foredune present during the field trip on January 29, 2020. (C) BOL02 photograph looking east along the discontinuous vegetation line on April 7, 2022.

Figure 4

Figure 4. HIHS beach monitoring at BOL03 east of Rollover Pass. (A) Beach profiles showing the changes in topography at the site between February 2016 and April 2022. (B) Photograph looking east along the dune crest during the field trip on January 29, 2020. C) BOL03 photograph looking east along the dune crest on April 7, 2022.

Figure 5

Figure 5. (A) An aerial image of Rollover Pass taken in 2018 before closure of the pass. (B) An aerial image of Rollover Pass taken in 2020 taken after closure of the pass had been completed with GPS mapped shoreline positions from the 2021—22 academic year.

 


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