A Field Data Assessment of Contemporary Models of Beach Cusp Formation


  • J. R. Allen
  • N. P. Psuty
  • B. O. Bauer
  • R. W. G. Carter


beach cusps, foreshore changes, edge waves, swash excursion


Cusp formation was observed during an instrumented, daily profiled, time series of a reflective beach in Canaveral National Seashore, Florida on January 5, 1988. The monitored cusp embayment formed by erosion of the foreshore and the cusp series had a mean spacing of approximately 28 m, During this time. inshore fluid flows were dominated by two standing edge waves at frequencies of 0.06 Hz (primary) and 0.035 Hz (secondary) whereas incident waves were broadbanded at 0.12-0.16 Hz. Directly measured flows land indirectly estimated swash excursion) data support both the standing wave subharmonic model (GUZA and INMAN, 1975) and the self-organization model (WERNER and FINK, 1993) of cusp formation in this study.