Geology Matters - Planners

Potential Geologic Issues for county or city land use planners

The geology that underlies your county or city may have a big impact on the short and long-term maintenance of streets and buildings.  Geology can affect the stability of slopes (especially modified slopes) and geology can dictate the presence of naturally occurring groundwater contaminants. To plan effectively for short- and long-term growth, the nature of the soil and underlying geologic material must be understood.

Potential geologic issues and/or hazards encountered in North Carolina can include the following:

Ground collapse: old mines and prospects and sinkholes 

Slope movements and landslides

Rippable vs non-rippable earth material

Expansive soils (shrink swell clays)

Acid-producing rock

Groundwater – quantity and quality with respect to geology

Radon in air and groundwater – The Geologic Link

Arsenic - Naturally occurring Arsenic in groundwater 


Coastal Hazards

When the Ground Moves – A Citizen’s Guide to Geologic Hazards in North Carolina  - NC Geological Survey Informational Circular 32 provides a simple review of some of the geologic hazards that can be encountered in North Carolina. 

A paper titled - Geoscience Education for Realtors, Appraisers, Home Inspectors, and Homeowners, provides an overview of geologic hazards in the Colorado Front Range area and their potential to impact property values.  These same concepts can be applied to geologic hazards and possible impact on home sites in North Carolina.  Link to abstract of paper: