Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Meng, Qingmin

Committee Member

Winata, Fikriyah

Committee Member

Wang, William Hui

Committee Member

Cartwright, John H.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Campus Access Only 2 Years

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Natural disasters like flooding have always been a big problem for countries around the world, but as the global climate changes and the number of people living in cities keeps growing, the threat of flooding has become a lot worse. Even though many studies have been conducted on flood mapping and vulnerability assessment in urban areas, this research addresses a significant knowledge gap in this domain. First, we used a flood depth estimation approach has been used to address the overestimation of urban flood mapping areas using Sentinel-1 images. Ten different combinations of the two initial VH and VV polarizations were used to rapidly and accurately map urban floods within open-source Google Earth Engine platforms using four different methods. The inclusion of flood depth has improved the accuracy of these methods by 7% on average. Next, we focused our research to find out who is most at risk in the floodplain areas. Minority communities, such as African Americans, as a result of socioeconomic constraints, face more difficulties. So, next we conducted an analysis of spatial and temporal changes of demographic patterns (Race) in five southern cities in US. From our analysis we have found that in majority of cities, the minority population within the floodplain has increased over the past two decades, with the exception of Charleston, South Carolina, where the white population has increased while the minority population has decreased. Building upon these insights, we have included more socio-economic and demographic variables in our analysis to find out the more holistic view of the vulnerable people in two of these cities (Jackson and Birmingham). Due to high autocorrelation between explanatory variables, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) along with global and local regression techniques to find out how much these variables can explain the vulnerability. According to our findings, the spatial components play a significant role in explaining vulnerabilities in greater detail. The findings of this research can serve as an important resource for policymakers, urban planners, and emergency response agencies to make informed decisions in future events and enhancing overall resilience.