USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Nationally, the USGS monitors and assesses geologic and hydrologic natural hazards. In the Puget Sound Basin, common hazards that also can cause damage include earthquakes and floods. Other hazards in the region that cause less damage or happen less frequently include landslides, debris flows, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
Although much is known about these natural hazards, mitigation and preparedness has lagged behind, and efforts are usually tied to single rather than multiple hazards.
To provide earth-science research for improving mitigation measures that encompass multiple natural hazards, the USGS has conducted a five-year project in the five-county, Seattle-Tacoma area. Studies include development of an advanced real-time flood inundation mapping method that creates flood maps ahead of a forecast storm and serves the maps over the Internet.