Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ping Wang


beach processes, coastal geomorphology, coastal morphodynamics, storm induced erosion


Tropical Storm Debby affected the Gulf coast of Florida in late June, 2012. The storm's southerly approach temporarily reversed the annual net southward longshore sediment transport. The energetic conditions associated with Tropical Storm Debby can be seen in the wind, wave and tidal measurements taken from both onshore and offshore weather stations around the dual tidal inlets system of John's Pass and Blind Pass, approximately 25 kilometers north of the mouth of Tampa Bay. The energetic and persistent southerly forcing, in addition to higher storm induced water levels and wave heights, resulted in atypical beach erosion and sediment deposition on the ebb tidal deltas of the two inlets and the surrounding beaches. The John's Pass ebb delta gained 60,000 cubic meters of sediment and the Blind Pass ebb delta gained 9,000 cubic meters as a result of the storm. Shoreline position, beach profile and offshore bathymetric surveys conducted before and after Tropical Storm Debby illustrate the changes in the coastal morphology such as the development of an offshore bar south of Blind Pass and erosion of the dry beach north and south of John's Pass. The Coastal Modeling System (CMS) was used to simulate wave and tide-driven current fields during the passage of the storm. The modeled wave field qualitatively illustrated the shadowing effect of the Tampa Bay ebb delta in reducing the southerly approaching storm wave energy arriving at the study area during the storm. The tidal flow patterns through the inlets and over the ebb tidal deltas were considerably different during the storm, as compared to normal tidal cycles.