Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ramirez-Avila, John J.

Committee Member

Rodgers, Kirk

Committee Member

Truax, Dennis D.

Committee Member

Freyne, Seamus

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer (MRVAA) is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States. The main objectives of this research are to identify long term trends and change points in hydrological variables (streamflow and rainfall), to assess the relationship between hydrological variables, and to evaluate the influence of global climate indices on hydrological variables. Non-parametric tests, MMK and Pettitt’s tests were used to analyze trend and change points. PCC and Streamflow elasticity analysis were used to analyze the relationship between streamflow and rainfall and the sensitivity of streamflow to rainfall changes. PCC and MLR analysis were used to evaluate the relationship between climate indices and hydrological variables and the combined effect of climate indices with hydrological variables. The results of the trend analysis indicated spatial variability within the aquifer, increase in streamflow and rainfall in the Northern region of the aquifer, while a decrease was observed in the southern region of the aquifer. Change point analysis of annual maximum, annual mean streamflow and annual precipitation revealed that statistically decreasing shifts occurred in 2001, 1998 and 1995, respectively. Results of PCC analysis indicated that streamflow and rainfall has a strong positive relationship between them with PCC values more than 0.6 in most of the locations within the basin. Results of the streamflow elasticity for the locations ranged from 0.987 to 2.33 for the various locations in the basin. Results of the PCC analysis for monthly maximum and mean streamflow showed significant maximum positive correlation coefficient for Nino 3.4. Monthly maximum rainfall showed a maximum significant positive correlation coefficient for PNA and Nino3.4 and the monthly mean rainfall showed a maximum significant positive correlation coefficient of 0.18 for Nino3.4. Results of the MLR analysis showed a maximum significant positive correlation coefficient of 0.31 for monthly maximum and mean streamflow of 0.21 and 0.23 for monthly maximum and mean rainfall, respectively. Overall, results from this research will help in understanding the impacts of global climate indices on rainfall and subsequently on streamflow discharge, so as to mitigate and manage water resource availability in the MRVAA underlying the LMRB.

Available for download on Monday, May 15, 2023