Engineering Geology


The Engineering Geology Section collects, analyzes, and compiles geologic data useful for engineering and hazard risk-mitigation purposes. Surficial-geologic maps portray the distribution of unconsolidated surficialgeologic materials and provide information on their engineering properties and potential as sources of construction materials and placer minerals. Studies of major geologic hazards such as earthquakes, active faults, and tsunamis result in reports outlining potential hazards in susceptible areas. The section advises other DNR divisions and state agencies regarding potential hazard risks to proposed developments and land disposals.

Engineering Geology FY15 project descriptions

  • ASAP Gasline - Multi-year geohazards investigation along the proposed Alaska Stand-Alone Gas Pipeline (ASAP)
  • Alaska climate and cryosphere hazards program - Program to rigorously assess geologic hazards associated with climate variability and change and to publish information that will be used for forecasting and proactive planning, hazard mitigation, and emergency response in high-risk communities and developing areas. Project work includes slope monitoring along the Haines Highway and development of avalanche susceptibility and prediction models near Atigun Pass.
  • Alaska coastal geohazards - Geohazards evaluation and geologic mapping program in support of local and regional planning for coastal villages. Ongoing investigations and baseline mapping efforts will expand understanding of how the coastline has evolved and how it will respond to future short-term and long-term changes.
  • Alaska highway, gas pipeline, and infrastructure corridors geology and geologic hazards - Ongoing evaluation of geology, resources, and geologic hazards along proposed natural pipeline and infrastructure corridors in Alaska.
  • Alaska hydrogeology - A statewide program to lead research efforts that focus on understanding groundwater-related issues impacting resource development and communities.
  • Alaska neotectonics research program - A statewide program to facilitate and implement geotechnical studies aimed at providing a better understanding of how active seismic and slope instability features can impact infrastructure
  • Dalton Highway frozen debris lobes - Geologic hazard evaluation of frozen debris lobes between mileposts 208 and 231 of the Dalton Highway and along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) in the southern Brooks Range. US-DOT, AK-DOT, and EPSCoR funded study. We investigate the movement of frozen landslides in the Brooks Range of Alaska. One of these landslide is approaching the Dalton Highway with a rate of 6 meters per year and it is predicted to overrun the highway in 2023.
  • Susitna - Watana hydroelectric project - Evaluation of selected geologic aspects of the proposed Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project
  • Susitna basin hydrology - Study of the hydrology of the upper Susitna drainage basin, with a particular focus on modeling the effects of glacier wastage and retreat on streamflow
  • Tsunami inundation mapping - Identify at-risk coastal Alaska communities and provide tsunami hazard maps for hazard mitigation and emergency response training; funded by the Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
  • Yukon River Bridge crossing area - Geologic mapping, geohazards, and fault evaluation along the Dalton Highway near the Yukon River bridge; remote and field-based analysis of Quaternary faults to characterize their relative activity and potential hazards they pose; remote sensing data acquisition; funded by the Yukon River Crossing CIP