Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Stephanie M. Patch


This research aims to identify flooding and erosion changes along a semi-connected barrier island system due to varying bay water levels during storm conditions. The numerical model XBeach is used to simulate Hurricane Michael conditions and the resulting inundation and morphological change near Tyndall Air Force Base (Tyndall AFB). The installation is located 12 miles southeast of Panama City Beach along the panhandle of Florida and is vulnerable to flooding due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Saint Andrew Sound and Saint Andrew Bay. A land bridge connects the barrier island to the mainland of Tyndall AFB and separates the two back-barrier bays. After establishing a model with hindcast Hurricane Michael waves and water levels, a sensitivity analysis was conducted on the two back-barrier bay water levels by shifting the phase of the peaks and increasing the magnitudes to determine bay water level influences on inundation and morphological changes during storm conditions. A pressure gradient formed when hydraulic connectivity was established between the GoM and back-barrier bays and governed the extent and directionality of barrier island breaching.