Geologic Hazards

Colorado’s great diversity of rocks, geologic structures, soil types, topography, and climatic conditions combine to create vigorous and diverse geologic processes. When humans move into this dynamic environment, these natural processes can become problematic as geologic hazards.

For example, naturally occurring inactive landslides may be triggered into renewed activity by the construction of roads or buildings that disrupt the stability of a hill slope. In addition, many of Colorado’s geologic hazards, such as heaving bedrock, swelling or collapsible soils are commonly triggered by human activity that could have been mitigated though proper land-use practices.

Other geologic hazards, like earthquakes, rockfall, mudslides, and avalanches are naturally occurring; but can wreak havoc on buildings, roads, and other engineered structures.

Some of the geologic Hazards found in Colorado.

The dedicated staff of the Colorado Geological Survey devote their careers to actively researching geologic hazards throughout the state. Our goal is to reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the lives and property of our citizens. Meet the dedicated staff of the Colorado Geological Survey who are critical to this task.

Our award-winning publication A Guide to Swelling Soil for Colorado Homebuyers and Homeowners, now in its second edition, has sold over 300,000 copies.

The Colorado Geological Survey offers a host of other publications dealing with all aspects of geologic hazards, many of them free of charge. Please visit our online bookstore for more information on these titles.

In addition we’ve produced a number of informative videos on geologic hazards specific to Colorado:

Our Facebook page Colorado Geological Survey