Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Mathematics and Statistics

Major Professor

Rebecca D. Wooten, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chris Tsokos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gregory McColm, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dan Shen, Ph.D.


Hurricanes, Sinkholes, Soil types, Logistic Regression, Regression Analysis


Beaches can provide a natural barrier between the ocean and inland communities, ecosystems, and resources. These environments can move and change in response to winds, waves, and currents. When a hurricane occurs, these changes can be rather large and possibly catastrophic. The high waves and storm surge act together to erode beaches and inundate low-lying lands, putting inland communities at risk. There are thousands of buoys in the Atlantic Basin that record and update data to help predict climate conditions in the state of Florida. The data that was compiled and used into a larger data set came from two different sources. First, the hurricane data for the years 1992 – 2014 came from Unisys Weather site (Atlantic Basin Hurricanes data, last 40 years) and the buoy data has been available from the national buoy center. Using various statistical methods, we will analyze the probability of a storm being present, given conditions at the buoy; determine the probability of a storm being present categorically. There are four different types of sinkholes that exist in Florida and they are: Collapse Sinkholes, Solution Sinkholes, Alluvial Sinkholes, and Raveling Sinkholes. In Florida there are sinkholes that occur, because of the different soil types that are prevalent in certain areas. The data that was used in this study came from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Subsidence Incident Reports. The size of the data was 926 with 15 variables. We will present a statistical analysis of a sinkholes length and width relationship, determine the average size of the diameter of a sinkhole, discuss the relationship of sinkhole size depending upon their soil types, and acknowledge the best probable occurrence of when a sinkhole occurs. There will be five research chapters in this dissertation. In Chapter 2, the concept of Exploratory Factor Analysis and Non-Response Analysis will be introduced, in accordance of analyzing hurricanes. Chapter 3 will also address the topic of hurricanes that have formed from the Atlantic Basin from 1992 – 2014. The discussion of the probability of a storm being present (also categorically) will be addressed. In Chapter 4 a study of sinkholes in Florida will be addressed. In Chapter 5 we will continue our discussion on sinkholes in Florida, but focus on the time to event between the occurrences of the sinkholes. In the last chapter, Chapter 6, we will conclude with a future works and projects that can be created from the foundations of this dissertation.