USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Tiffany Roberts

First Advisor

Ping Wang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geology

Second Advisor

Rick Oches, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Third Advisor

Rebecca Johns, Ph.D. Assistant Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Geography


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



The SUPERTANK experiment's unique dataset was utilized in this study to examine the effects of elevated water levels due to wave setup and swash runup on beach morphology. Detailed beach-profile changes under erosive and accretionary waves were examined and compared with incoming wave conditions and time-averaged water level. Overall, 30 cases out of350 SUPERTANK experiments were investigated. The findings of this study include 1) the Dean Number is a reliable tool for assessing beach erosion and accretion under various wave conditions; 2) the upper limit of beach-profile change is roughly equal to the limit of swash runup; 3) the exception of swash runup governing morphological changes is when dune or beach scarps occur; 4) the extent of beach change exceeds the mean water level alone, but is governed by the water level plus wave setup and swash runup; 5) the upper limit of swash runup is roughly equal to the breaking wave height, excluding the case of dune or beach scarping; 6) a new model, Rmax = Hb , is developed predicting the maximum swash runup; and 7) findings from monochromatic wave experiments are not necessarily applicable to real world scenarios.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.