Site Report - Template
Location Map of site chosen:
Your site report should begin with a geologic introduction to the area and the
underlying bedrock geology. Think broad scale geology, are you on the coast? In the middle of
the Rocky Mountains? next to the Cascade Volcanic Arc? Your report should end with the entire
site evaluation where you summarize all hazards present near your property.
Questions to consider when writing your introduction: What is the underlying geology of the
area? How can the underlying geologic affect hazards (think landslides and subsidence)?
Are there any known faults in the area? Have there been any earthquakes in this immediate
area? If yes, when, how close was the epicenter, what was the magnitude? What specific
seismic hazards may be of concern and what kind of damage might be expected? What is the
potential for future quakes?
How close is this property to any flood source - fluvial (river) or coastal (hurricane induced)?
What is the elevation of the property? Has there been flooding in the past? Is the property in a
flood zone? What is the RI for potential floods that may affect this property?
How close is the nearest volcano (be specific – how many miles)? When did it last erupt? What
specific volcanic hazards may be of concern for this location?
Mass Wasting Hazards (landslides):
What is the topography of this area? What is the geology (rock type) in this area? What is the
climate of this area? Have there been any landslides in this area? When & how close to this
property? Is this property close to any coastline or riverbank where erosion may be an issue?
How close to the shoreline is this property? What is the elevation? What is the geology – solid
rock or sand? Have there been any hurricanes in the past? If yes, how often, category, most
recent? What is the reoccurrence interval for hurricanes in this area? What conditions / damage
might be expected in the event of a hurricane?
Is this property in close enough proximity to the shoreline to be affected by a tsunami? Have
there been any earthquakes that might cause a tsunami in this area? Is coastal erosion an issue
– either as part of normal longshore drift or storm/hurricane induced?
Severe Weather Potential:
Is this area commonly subject to general weather hazards such as tornadoes, thunderstorms,
blizzards, droughts, etc. which may have an effect on the state of this property or the local
Economic Resources, Land Use Issues and Toxic Hazards:
Is there any mineral or rock mining or quarrying in proximity to this property? Are there any
hydrocarbon recovery (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) hazards? Is there a nuclear power plant or
geothermal power plant in the area? Are there any wind farms near the property? How close,
what are the actual potential hazards associated with past or present resource recovery efforts?
Are there any sources of toxic contamination in proximity to the property? How close, what are
the actual potential hazards associated with the site(s)?
Here you will write a summary report with your expert opinion based on the information you
have gathered. Your summary report should be no more than one page, double spaced and
should include advice about if this property should be purchased and an explanation of your
Geologic Characterization of Your Property - Outline
Final Project Report Due: __XXX XXX @ 8pm EST________
Students will step into the shoes of an environmental scientist to evaluate the geologic hazards
that could affect a property of their choosing. The report should be written to a non-geologic audience,
such as someone wanting to purchase the property. Students will use real geologic data from places like,
the USGS (United States Geological Survey), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration),
and the EPA (environmental protection agency) to interpret potential hazards close to the property
Your assignment is to create a geologic characterization of a specific property. The
geologic characterization should include information about the local bedrock, real or potential
environmental and geologic hazards that may be associated with the property. You will create
this report for a non-geologic audience, when using geology jargon make sure to define the
term. While I recognize that you are not professionally trained geologists, I expect a
professional quality natural hazard analysis report that includes as much information as you are
able to identify. Here is a link to an example of a detailed geologic hazard assessment done at
Fairfield, California in 2017 http://ctbrayton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/FairviewES-GeologicHazard-Assessment-6325000000_2017-06-02.pdf.
1. evaluate geologic processes and interpret geologic hazards
2. utilize geospatial databases to describe hazards in a specific location
3. generate repository of geologic evidence, which validates what geologic hazards are
prevalent in the area
4. organize material and communicate the hazards at the property through a written site
1. Students will choose ONE of the 21 properties listed on the shared google doc
(briefly look into each of the 5 locations before making your choice).
2. You must write your name and the site chosen on the sign-up sheet. Every student
has to have their own site address, no duplicates
3. Use the template to complete your written report
Collaboration is encouraged, but each student is responsible for an individual geologic
hazards site report for their chosen location.
● research hazards in the area around the property chosen (~ 50-mile radius)
● each site report must include a description of ALL geologic hazards in the area, each
hazard should have its own header where all geologic evidence is listed
● each hazard section should contain images, diagrams, or tables of pertinent geologic data
● all sources MUST BE CITED in GSA style (see syllabus) and included in a References List
report must be in Times New Roman, size 12 font, with 1” margins, and 1.5 spacing
appropriate headers should separate each hazard and its accompanying data and interpretation
the hazard report should include an introduction, geologic hazard headings, a conclusion, and all
In each hazard section students should:
1. describe the bedrock geology of the area your site is located in
2. give a brief description of the geologic process and the resulting hazard
3. evaluate and describe the geologic data found, must include images, diagrams, or tables
relaying scientific data
4. interpret, using geologic observations, the hazards which might affect the chosen site (within
Some hints for researching your property / area:
Consult examples provided of Geologic Hazard Assessments
1) Begin by putting your property address into Google Maps or Google Earth and finding its
location. Look at both map view, satellite view and street view and enlarge and reduce your
viewing area to get a general feel for the location and the types of hazards that may be a
2) Type your property address into Google and investigate any information that may be available
from realty websites. Many sites will have photos of the exterior of the home or of the views
from the home that may help to illustrate the hazards associated with the property.
3) Use the keywords “hazard”, “geologic hazards” or “environmental hazards” along with the city or
county where your property is located in your search engine to discover additional information
about your property and the surrounding area.
4) Use specific hazard keywords along with your city, county or state name to find potential
information (EX: Tampa sinkholes, Lake Jackson groundwater contamination, etc.)
5) Use keywords associated with specific hazards for your area and do an image search for any
pictures or maps that might provide potential information or add clarity to your report. (EX:
Seattle fault map, Gulf Coast hurricane map, San Francisco landfill map, etc.)
6) You should then use the websites provided online to do in-depth analysis about the relevant
geologic information at your property. (For example, you do not need to investigate volcanic
hazards in Florida.)
7) Remember that you are NOT a realtor trying to “sell” this property. Limit the information on your
site report to that information which is related to the hazard potential of the site.
8) Be specific about the distance of the property from any potential hazard area – the words “close”
or “near” mean nothing to the client. You should use distance designations such as feet or miles
to help client assess the relative hazard risk associated with the property. These can be
determined using Google Maps scales.
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