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The Water Resources Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in Tacoma, Washington, is studying flood hazards in the Seattle area, as part of a 5-year project designed to broaden the scientific understanding of natural hazards in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, and Kitsap Counties.

Major efforts included:

  • Developing new methods for mapping flood hazard areas;
  • Piloting real-time mapping of forecast floods for delivery on the Internet;
  • Identifying the causes and locations of ground-water flooding;
  • Studying and mapping channel migration hazards.

Riverine flooding from heavy rainfall and snowmelt is common in the Seattle area. The Seattle area also is affected by localized groundwater flooding and geologically young river channels that are actively eroding and moving. These processes create additional, previously little-known hazards to structures located in the flood plains.

The following publications present information on natural hazards of the Seattle area.

U.S. Geological Survey Programs in Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-049-99.

Learning to Live with Geologic and Hydrologic Hazards: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4182. The Fact Sheet is in PDF format. (PDF:4 pages/347 KB). Text only accessible version (PDF:4 pages/195KB)

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U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey, Tacoma, WA, USA
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Last modification: Thursday, 15-Dec-2016 12:53:58 EST