Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. William R. Dally

Second Advisor

Dr. Don Resio

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher J. Brown

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan

College Dean

Dr. William F. Klostermeyer


The need for a consistent and accurate production of long-term nearshore wave record is discussed. With multiple decades of offshore hindcasts and long, continuous data sets available, it is possible to create a nearshore synthetic wave record. The Brevard County coastline offers an area with a high quality 62-year long offshore hindcast, as well as an 11-year long and nearly continuous high-resolution nearshore wave record to compare with model performance. This thesis presents the steps in the development and performance of the synthetic nearshore wave record produced. A novel approach was used to compare, validate and calibrate this type of data which included using quantile-quantile plots and bin-averaged scatter plots. In a comparison between two reputable deep-water hindcasts (MSC50 and Wavewatch III), it was found that Wavewatch III significantly underpredicts wave heights in the higher range (>8m). At the nearshore STWAVE proves to be a simple, robust and fast way to create a nearshore wave record. Root mean squared error (0.272m-0.317m) and modified index of agreement (0.697-0.646) values for significant wave height show promising results for overall model performance with the currently available hindcast. Possible future improvements could be made by modifying the offshore hindcast to have finer grid resolution and further studying different friction models for the nearshore wave transformation model. Overall, the use of the MSC50 hindcast, to drive STWAVE at the nearshore, exhibits good agreement with ADCP data and analysis for significant wave heights can be used with confidence. Currently, no long-term trends can be resolved with the available record at the location used herein, yet more years of data/hindcasts in the future could provide more evident trends in wave climate change.