Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ping Wang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard A. Davis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Luther, Ph.D.


inlet morphology, anthropogenic activity, sediment bypassing, barrierinlet system, mixed energy inlet, coastal morphology


Time-series aerial photographs from 1943 to 2006, including three bathymetry surveys from 1888, 1953, and 2006, are analyzed and compared. The locations of three morphological features, including that of shoreline, offshore bars, and channel orientation, are delineated over the historical aerial photos in order to examine the morphodynamics of the system. Anthropogenic alteration of the New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass system is a crucial factor in controlling the morphodynamics.

Both New Pass and Big Sarasota Pass are mixed-energy tidal inlets with New Pass illustrating a straight morphology and Big Sarasota Pass a highly offset morphology. The sediment bypassing at New Pass can be explained by a modified ebb tidal delta breaching model with the breaching initiated by frequent channel dredging. The sediment bypassing at Big Sarasota Pass is different from that at New Pass, in that it is transported across the entire shallow ebb tidal delta with minor interruptions. This particular morphology, without a deep channel in the distal part of the ebb tidal delta, has been maintained by natural processes over at least the last 65 years. The shoreline in the vicinity of both inlets fluctuates as much as 200 m in a time scale of only few years. The advance and retreat of the shoreline at the southern tip of Lido Key is influenced by the frequent Lido Key beach nourishment. A large portion of the sediment is eventually transported onto the Big Sarasota Pass ebb tidal delta. The northern Siesta Key headland has experienced erosion since the 1960s. Downdrift of the headland, a persistent shoreline accretion was observed over the last 40 years, the pattern of which is related to the location and timing of the swash bar attachment.