Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Vahedifard, Farshid

Committee Member

Mason, George L., Jr

Committee Member

Peters, John F.

Committee Member

Rais-Rohani, Masoud

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The main goal of this research is to quantitatively assess the resilience and vulnerability of geotechnical infrastructure to extreme events under a changing climate. In the first part, pertinent facts and statistics regarding California’s extreme drought and current status of its levees are presented. Weakening processes such as soil strength reduction, soil desiccation cracking, land subsidence and surface erosion, and oxidation of soil organic carbon are comprehensively evaluated to illustrate the devastating impacts that the California drought can have on earthen structures. In the second part, rainfall-triggered slope instabilities are analyzed using extreme precipitation estimates, derived using the historical stationary and a proposed future nonstationary approach. The extremes are integrated into a series of fully coupled 2D finite element simulations. The final part of this study investigates the impact of simultaneous variations in soil moisture and temperature changes in the California region on soil strength through a proposed thermo-hydro-mechanical framework.