Karst Hazards Research at USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center (AD)

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Detailed Description

The Florence Bascom Geoscience Center conducts geologic research using digital elevation models to map karst systems and sinkhole hazards in the United States. Understanding these complex geologic systems helps to inform land use planning and development decisions. The USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center (FBGC) is at the leading edge of scientific research addressing critical societal issues and providing unbiased data and information to decision makers and the public.

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Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:49

Location Taken: VA, US

Video Credits

Content produced by 522 Productions under contract to the USGS FBGC.


My role in the USGS is to advance the understanding of karst systems.  One of the defining characteristics of karst landscapes are sinkholes and sinkholes are hazards to property and people.  Here in the east, the rocks are often hidden beneath a lot of vegetation and so it can sometimes be difficult to assess where all of those sinkholes are.  We use tools that we develop in house to analyze high-resolution elevation models.  Some of the information that we can provide is the location of sinkholes that can be used for modeling the assessment of the hazard.  If we don't invest the time and energy it takes to understand the geologic context of their formation, we really can't make good predictions for the future.