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Western Geographic Science Center


Pacific Northwest Geographical Science


Web Sites:

Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards http://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/vulnerability/index.htm

vulnerability web site

The risk of a future natural disaster is a function not only of the hazards but also of the vulnerability of individuals and communities that occupy hazard-prone areas. This project focuses on developing new methods for assessing and communicating community vulnerability to natural hazards. Research includes community vulnerability to tsunamis (Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii), volcanoes (Mount Rainier), hurricane storm surge (Florida) and climate-change-enhanced coastal hazards (Oregon and Washington coast).




The Puget Sound Ecosystem Portfolio Model

Puget Sound Ecosystem Portfolio Model web site

Thousands of streams and rivers drain a land area of about 35,500 km2 into Puget Sound, designated by the U.S. EPA as an Estuary of National Significance. This region is experiencing significant population growth and development pressures.

The USGS Puget Sound Ecosystem Portfolio Model (PSEPM) is a decision support tool that uses scenarios to evaluate where, when and to what extent future population growth, urban growth and shoreline development may threaten the nearshore environment by 2060. The tool focuses on threats to barrier and bluff-backed beaches, which represent 50 percent of Puget Sound shorelines by length. A suite of sub-models identify multiple connections between land use and the nearshore’s capacity to support valued ecosystem components (VECs) and ecosystem services.

Visit the Puget Sound Ecosystem Portfolio Model website



Project Pages:

The Land Use Portfolio Model Applied to Flood Hazard Analysis in Squamish, British Columbia



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