Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Ellen Douglas

Second Advisor

Paul Kirshen

Third Advisor

Laurie Agel


As flooding in coastal regions increases in frequency and intensity, communities are becoming more vulnerable. This paper evaluates compound flooding events in Rhode Island from 2004 to 2018. Compound flooding occurs when two or more events occur concurrently or within close succession. For the purpose of this study, we define compound events to be the joint occurrence of floods due to elevated levels of river discharge, total water level, and storm surge (Hendry, 2018). Using a joint occurrence method (JOM) and Kendall rank correlation , dependence between storm surge and river discharge and total water level and river discharge are assessed. The methods also allow us to assess the potential damage costs from compound flooding for Washington County, Kent County, and Providence County in Rhode Island. The Naïve method and Compound method were developed to establish the difference of evaluating costs for individual events and compound events. Compound events do not happen as often as individual events but cost significantly more. Implementing the Compound method for policy and defense systems would better protect the state from costly flooding.


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