Modeling Regional-Scale Sediment Transport and Medium-Term Morphology Change at a Dual Inlet System Examined With the Coastal Modeling System (CMS): A Case Study at Johns Pass and Blind Pass, West-Central Florida

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


nearshore sediment transport, coastal morphology, numerical modeling, dredging, tidal inlets, ebb tidal delta, channel infilling, tides, waves, Florida

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The Coastal Modeling System (CMS), developed by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center's (ERDC) Coastal Inlets Research Program (CIRP), is applied to model morphology change at a dual-inlet system, the Johns Pass and Blind Pass system in West-Central Florida. The CMS combines computation of current, wave, and sediment transport, leading to the prediction of morphology change at tidal inlets and the surrounding beaches. Medium-term CMS runs, with simulated times of 1.2 to 1.6 years, were completed and compared with extensive field data. Stronger tidal flow through the dominating Johns Pass and weaker flow through the secondary Blind Pass were calculated, indicating that the model reproduced an essential aspect of this interactive two-inlet system. The complicated wave refraction and breaking over the ebb tidal deltas and along the adjacent shorelines were accurately modeled, leading to a realistic representation of the wave-current interaction. Wave-breaking induced elevated sediment suspension and transport were described by the model. The predicted morphology change agreed well with field data. The CMS captured several key spatial trends of morphology change, e.g., erosion along the downdrift beach and accretion at the attachment point. The computed 32,000 m3/yr sedimentation volume in the dredge pit at the updrift side of Blind Pass matched the measured value of 35,000 m3/yr with a similar spatial distribution pattern, suggesting that the calculated net longshore sediment transport rates are accurate. The computed sedimentation rate of 60,000 m3/yr at a designed dredge pit on Johns Pass ebb-delta agrees with the generally accepted gross longshore transport rate. Rapid and large morphology change in response to high wave-energy events is predicted and is consistent with field observations.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Coastal Research, special issue 59, p. 49-60

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