Practice Exam Question - USGS



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    Kathleen Hogan

    Hi Jennie,

    the geotechnical report is what the owner would provide to the architect as part of the initial information of the project. However, that happens when the site has been selected. this question is trying to figure out the available resources that is needed to select a site prior. once a site has been selected, then the owner should provide that geotechnical report.

    the USGS map does show topography, but it carries more information about the surrounding property areas that would not be available on the topographic survey on the proposed site. the observation, "significant erosion patterns on the adjacent property [...]" (emphasis mine) hints that you would need the USGS as well as the proposed site's topographic survey.


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    Rebekka O'Melia

    I'd look at the geotech report, for sure...

    But maybe the point here is that the geotech is subsoil conditions, and the sediment and erosion is on top of that (?).  The architect needs to determine what is going on with the erosion.

    Hope this helps & keep studying!

    Rebekka O'Melia, Registered Architect, NCARB, B. Arch, M. Ed, Step UP,  Step UP ARE 5.0 Courses


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    Amin Mendez (Edited )

    Form the architect’s site observations it appears that possible storm events or continual water drainage patterns have caused erosion on the adjacent site.  Has caused sediment and uprooted ground cover and debris to accumulate throughout the site.   The existing site drainage could already be disruptive to the site and additional site improvement would / could intensify the process.   


     USGS would have large scale studies and surveys of the area if it’s a natural hazard that could threaten lives and livelihood.

    Topographic map – how the site slopes and determining the site’s  existing drainage pattern.

    FEMA would have maps of flood plans and flood ways.

    I would say that zoning maps would / could already have requirements base on the above agencies recommendations.  Could be a good resource for initially investigating the site issues but ultimately you would want to refer to the above agencies.

    Geotechnical report is soil investigation for the purpose of designing the foundation (this is important) however it is not used for solving site drainage.

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