Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, E. Michael

Committee Member

Dyer, L. Jamie

Committee Member

Rodgers, C. John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


This study examines how the Delta-bluffs interface in the Mississippi River alluvial flood plain of western Mississippi affects the spatial variation of tornado occurrence and the characteristics of tornadoes that occur within fifty km of the interface. A t-test and Poisson distribution were used to test for clustering of tornadoes along the Delta-bluffs interface. Previous research has been used to show differing vegetation and soil types can act as focusing mechanisms for thunderstorm development and enhancement. An in-depth analysis of eight tornado events reveals the Delta-bluffs interface enhanced reflectivity and velocity values whenmseven of eight of the storms were within twenty km of the topographic boundary. It was also shown that changes in the roughness of the Earth’s surface can affect the SRH being ingested by a thunderstorm. It was found that F0-F1 tornadoes are significantly (p < 0.01) clustered along the interface but F2-F5 tornadoes were not significantly (p < 0.05) clustered along this boundary. It appears unlikely that characteristics of tornadoes within and outside of the Delta are statistically different.



tornadoes||Delta bluffs interface