Jacob Ramthun

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Susan Cutter


“Natech” events, in which natural hazards trigger anthropogenic hazards, are becoming increasingly common. Methodologies for measuring the impact of natech events on environmental justice assessments are lacking, particularly in rural scenarios. This study used additive, multiplicative, and z-score threshold methods of combining the density of industrial swine farms in eastern North Carolina and the presence of flood risk to determine whether or not natech risk exhibits emergent socioeconomic indicators and whether areas of high natech constitute environmental injustice. The multiplicative and z-score threshold methods generated variables representing natech risk to compare to socioeconomic indicators, as well as statistically significant hotspots. Measuring the correlation of those two variables, swine density, and flood risk to socioeconomic variables served as a means to assess whether emergent social indicators existed only when constituent hazards overlapped. The hotspots and the additive bivariate map provided three sample areas used to measure difference in socioeconomic variables from the rest of the study area. The highest natech risk in all three methods was found in the Cape Fear and Neuse River Basins. The lack of unique correlations between the natech variables and socioeconomic variables did not indicate emergent socioeconomic indicators associated with natech risk. The sample areas exhibited significantly lower incomes and higher rates of Hispanic and disabled residents, indicating environmentally unjust impacts.


© 2020, Jacob Ramthun

Included in

Geography Commons