Geology and land use

Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)


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Geologists' eyes are trained to find and trace such natural landmarks as flood plains, landslide scars, retreating shoreline bluffs, or surface traces of active earthquake faults. more and more often, in developing areas, we find these obvious signs of trouble being erased by urban development. A geological hazard concealed by landscaping or hosing is fully as dangerous as when it is visible.

The geologic limitations for building sites of some areas can be overcome, in part, by skilled engineering and expensive construction practices. But the costs can be prohibitively high, and the solutions are not always completely effective. In "earthquake country," history has shown that costs are highest and risk factors most uncertain in a few easily recognized settings: unstable hill sloped, land at the edge of rapidly eroding sea cliffs, lowlands underlain by saturated estuarine mud of ill, and areas near faults capable of producing magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes. Safety immediately after an earthquake is also a concern in these places, for extreme damage and ground distortion may impede or prevent timely access by emergency equipment. 

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geology and land use
Series title Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)
Volume 22
Issue 6
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Description 2 p.
First page 252
Last page 253
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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