Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Ping Wang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard A. Davis, Jr., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark A. Ross, Ph.D.


Tidal inlets, Inlet stability, Coastal geomorphology, Inlet modeling, West-Central Florida


John’s Pass is a stable mixed-energy inlet located on a microtidal coast in Pinellas County, Florida. It is hydraulically connected to the northern portion of Boca Ciega Bay. Morphological analysis using a time-series of aerial photographs indicated that anthropogenic activities have influenced the evolution of the tidal deltas and adjacent shorelines at John’s Pass. Previous studies have documented the channel dimensions at the location of the existing bridge and calculated the tidal prism. A chronological analysis of these data yielded an increasing trend in the cross-sectional area at John’s Pass from 1873 to 2001. Anthropogenic activities occurring in Boca Ciega Bay impacting this trend begin in the 1920’s when Indian Pass, approximately 7 km north of John’s Pass, was artificially closed. Other significant events causing an increase or decrease in the crosssectional area at John’s Pass include dredging and filling in the bay, channel dredging at John’s Pass, and jetty construction.

More recent data collected from a simultaneous current meter deployment at John’s Pass and Blind Pass were used to calculate the bay area serviced by each inlet resulting in an area serviced by John’s Pass being 1.8x104 km2 and 0.33x104 km2 serviced by Blind Pass. In comparison, Blind Pass captures 14 percent of the tidal prism that John’s Pass captures and John’s Pass captures 87 percent of the bay prism while Blind Pass captures 13 percent. Using the discharge equation and assuming the channel area was largely constant the tidal prism at John’s Pass was 1.07x107 m3 during the twenty-one day deployment. Based on a historical analysis of the tidal prism this study is within 40 percent of the tidal prism calculated by Mehta (1976) and Becker and Ross (2001) and within 20 percent of the tidal prism calculated by Jarrett (1976) and Davis and Gibeaut (1990). An analysis of the current meter time-series indicated that flood velocities in the channel were influenced by a frontal system passing through the study area during the deployment increasing the amount of potential sediment being deposited in the channel thalweg. The maximum ebb and flood-tidal velocities during the deployment were 143 cm/s and 115 cm/s, respectively.

Morphological analysis of cross-sectional data from 1995 to 2004 indicated that sediment tends to accumulate along the northern portion of the channel. The channel thalweg tends to accumulate more sediment east of the bridge where wave energy is lower and currents are not as strong. An average net accumulation of 0.5 m per year was estimated along all seven cross-sections. Given the length and width of the surveyed channel, 610 m by approximately 150 m, the sediment flux through the inlet is approximately 45,800 m3 /yr along the channel thalweg. A small amount of sediment accumulation has occurred southwest of the bridge in response to channelized flood flows along the newly constructed jetty. An annual sediment budget was estimated for the John’s Pass inlet system using the beach profiles and inlet bathymetry data between 2000 and 2001. Overall, the inlet system has accumulated more sediment than it has lost during this time period.