HAZARD ASSISTANCE

The goal of the UGS Geologic Hazards Program is to help reduce risk to Utah’s life safety, property, and economy by directly assisting cities, towns, and counties; and providing unbiased scientific information to the public so informed decisions can be made regarding geologic hazards.

  • UGS engineering geologists inspecting landslide features and monitoring landslide movement with GPS equipment at the Parkway Drive landslide, North Salt Lake.
  • Flooding Black Smith Fork River Flooding, Utah. (1984)
  • Debris flow at Seeley Fire Area, Manti-LaSal National Forest, Utah.

Services for Local Governments and Other Agencies

The UGS assists local governments in their planning, zoning, and permitting processes by providing maps, data, and technical geologic outreach.

Emergency Response

The UGS responds to geologic hazard emergencies and provides unbiased, scientific advice to local governments and incident commanders to reduce life safety risk.

A Guide for Homebuyers and Real Estate Agents

Before buying land, undeveloped lots/parcels, or homes, it is important to educate yourself on the geologic hazards that may be present and affect the property.

School Site Evaluation and Report Review Services

The UGS provides preliminary school site geologic hazard evaluation and review of consultant prepared geologic related reports for Utah school districts.

Resources for Consultants and Design Professionals

 Non-comprehensive resources available to assist those involved with geotechnical, geologic-hazards, and other land-use investigations in Utah.

The UGS Geologic Hazards Program

The UGS responds to emergency calls if a home, property, neighborhood, or community is in life-threatening danger from a geologic hazard. In these situations, a city or county may ask the UGS to assess the hazard and advise on a course of action. To document and understand geologic hazards, the UGS encourages cities, counties, and the public to inform us of events when they occur so that we may investigate the hazard if warranted.

Dealing with Geologic Hazard Problems

Parkway Drive GPS monitoring.

For issues such as water uncontrollably seeping into a basement or sidewalks shifting or buckling, the first plan of action is to contact your city or county’s public works, engineering, planning, or development services departments. The problem may be one that these agencies can assist with. If the city or county cannot help you, a geotechnical consultant or consulting firm should be contacted. Many can be found through an online search for “Geologist” or “Geotechnical Engineer.” The home/property owner should contact several consultants to compare cost estimates and quality of services.

Geotechnical consulting firms have engineers and geologists who are trained to identify and mitigate geologic hazards (slope instability, shallow groundwater, and earthquake hazards to list a few). Professionals can recommend and design drainage systems for home foundations and slopes as well as suggest methods to stabilize slopes and reconstruct yards. Geotechnical consultants can also determine if a geologic hazard is localized to your property or part of a larger issue with the potential to affect several pieces of property or a neighborhood. You can verify that any geologists, engineers, and/or contractors you use are licensed in the state of Utah here.

Information Sources

Utah Geological Survey
1594 West North Temple
P.O. Box 146100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6100
(801) 537-3300

Salt Lake County Planning
2001 South State Street, Room N3700
Salt Lake City, UT 84190-4200
(801) 468-2061
www.pwpds.slco.org

Utah County Planning
100 East Center Street, Room 3700
Provo, UT 84601
(801) 370-8344
www.co.utah.ut.us

Davis County Planning
Davis County Courthouse, Room 221
Farmington, UT 84025
(801) 451-3278
www.co.davis.ut.us

Tooele County Planning
47 South Main, Room #213
Tooele, UT  84074
(435) 843-3160
www.co.tooele.ut.us/building/planning.htm

Wasatch County Planning
55 S 500 E
Heber City, Utah  84032
(435) 657-3205
www.co.wasatch.ut.us/planning.aspx

Weber County Planning
Weber Center
2380 Washington Blvd., Suite 240
Ogden, UT 84401
(801) 399-8791
www1.co.weber.ut.us

External Links

Utah Professional Licensing

The State of Utah licenses geologists, engineers, architects, contractors, and other fields to protect the public health, welfare, and safety by ensuring those licensed have the appropriate minimum education, knowledge, and experience in their respective fields to serve the public and enforces disciplinary actions on licensees when necessary.


Utah Seismic Safety Commission

As one of three primary state agencies of the Utah Earthquake Program, the UGS supports the Utah Seismic Safety Commission in providing expertise and staff to the 15-member volunteer state commission that works toward reducing Utah’s earthquake hazards and managing Utah’s earthquake risk.


Division of Emergency Management

For questions about hazards preparedness and the Utah Earthquake Program.

1110 State Office Building
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
(801) 538-3400


Utah Geological Survey

For questions about geology, faulting, natural hazards, and geological hazards maps in Utah.

1594 West North Temple
P.O. Box 146100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6100
(801) 537-3300