Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cooke, William H., III

Committee Member

Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Dash, Padmanava

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Geospatial Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


With over 10,000 acres burned in wildland fires in 2014 in Mississippi, accurate fire hazard prediction is of great importance. Soil moisture, fuel moisture, and fire hazard are inextricably linked. Remote estimation of soil moisture in the Southeastern United States for fire hazard modeling is hampered by the use of models engineered for other physiographic regions and the prevalence of deep, fast-draining sands underneath heavy vegetation. United States Geologic Service hydrographs were investigated and compared to nearby soil moisture and precipitation readings in an attempt to identify the links between stream gauge readings and watershed soil moisture. Stream gauge peaks corresponded within a three day window of soil moisture peaks 73.3% of the time, with 43.8% of peaks occurring simultaneously, thus verifying the indicative nature of local hydrographs. With further study, this easily accessed proxy variable could enhance currently used soil moisture models and drought indices.



stream gauge||soil moisture||longleaf||wildland fire||Soil