Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Urbanization in Jackson, Madison County, TN and the Environmental Impact of Urbanization on the Region

Thomas DePriest

Data is provided by the student.


Urbanization of the southeastern region of the United States is an ongoing process with wide ranging environmental implications. Tennessee is among southern states expected to develop at higher than average rates. Therefore, the purpose of this doctoral research is twofold; to holistically examine urbanization in Jackson, Madison County, TN and the environmental impact of urbanization on the region. To accomplish these objectives, a study of land-use and land cover (LULC) change in Madison County from 1992-2011 was first conducted. To determine if any significant relationships existed between socio-demographic factors and quantified LULC changes Spearmans Correlation was utilized. Relationships between socio-demographic factors and land-use indicators were established; as urban areas grew, agricultural and forested areas declined, and population density near the city center decreased. LULC changes focusing on the city of Jackson, TN were then compared to an increase in the number of flash flood warnings issued in the city limits. Statistically significant outcomes between an increase in precipitation runoff and noted changes in LULC through utilization of Spearmans Correlation, Friedmans ANOVA and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test were noted. Since Jackson has a major footprint in the South Fork of the Forked Deer (SFFD) watershed, an investigation into spatial or temporal changes in water quality along SFFD river was also conducted. To determine changes in water quality over space and time throughout the SFFD watershed, Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank tests were employed. Significant results occurred between upstream sub-basins and downstream sub-basins. This may indicate that significance levels were generally due to increased concentrations of water quality indicators flowing downstream. Conclusions from this dissertation research indicate that urbanization and decentralization are occurring in Jackson, Madison County, TN. LULC changes from urbanization may be affecting precipitation runoff and flash flood warnings. However, urbanization and increased surface runoff was not found to have a statistically significant impact on water quality in the SFFD watershed or the Jackson, Madison County area.