Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil/Environmental Engineering

Committee Director

David R. Basco

Committee Member

A. Osman Akan

Committee Member

Ronald E. Johnson

Committee Member

George F. Oertel


A set of numerical models is developed for simulating the four stages of barrier breaching characterized by one horizontal spatial dimension.

The SBEACH model is employed for the first stage of dune/beach erosion. The Lax-Wendroff two-step explicit scheme for Stage II is developed to simulate initiation of ocean flood propagation on initially dry barrier islands and the method of characteristics (MOC), is employed to compute additional boundary data. The development of the Preissmann implicit scheme for water motion and a forward time centered space explicit scheme for sediment motion in Stages III and IV provide a tool to study the volume change and centroid movements of barrier dune during various levels of storm activity.

The accuracy and correctness of numerical codes have been verified by conducting a series of standard tests and numerous volume conservation tests.

The sensitivity studies show that the most sediments are transported landward by larger peak storm surge difference between ocean and bay with shorter time lag and longer duration, and seaward by smaller peak storm surge difference with longer time lag and shorter storm duration.

Finally, the integrated numerical model is found to produce reasonable results from the various sensitivity tests which reveal that the numerical model has properly responded to the changes of each model parameter.