Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Conder, James


Horn Island is a barrier island located in the northern Gulf of Mexico within the Mississippi Sound. During the past 18 years Horn Island has been within the vicinity of seven major storm events. These storms have caused erosion and loss of total island volume. It has been suggested that vegetation can be implemented to mitigated erosion on barrier islands. To test if vegetation would be an effective measure against erosion, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) were gathered for the years: 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2077, 2010, 2011, and 2016. DEMs were clipped based on landcover type: vegetation, sand, or sandy water; the type was determined through fuzzy classification of Landsat images which corresponded to the same times of the DEMs. The DEMs were then subtracted, newer minus older, and a Wilcoxon rank-test was used to determine if there was a statistical difference in erosion rates for the different landcover types. The findings revealed that there was not a significant difference in erosion rates for any of the landcover types, meaning that vegetation has not mitigated erosion for Horn Island.




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