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Date:6/6/2008

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Hurricanes: The Season is Here

June 1 marks the start of this year's hurricane season and the USGS has science that weathers the storm. More than half of the U.S. population is located within 50 miles of a coast, and that number is continuously increasing. A major goal of the USGS is to reduce the vulnerability of the people and areas most at risk from natural hazards. Learn more about what the USGS is doing by visiting http://www.usgs.gov/hazards/hurricanes/2008/. For more information, contact Jennifer LaVista at 703-648-4432 or jlavista@usgs.gov.

What's Up With Sinkholes?

Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface can naturally be dissolved by ground water circulating through them. These rocks include limestone, gypsum and salt. As the rock dissolves, underground voids and caverns develop. The recent sinkhole and catastrophic collapse in Texas is an example of an area impacted by subsurface salt. Sinkholes are dramatic because the land surface may not show evidence of the caverns below until a collapse occurs. These collapses can range from several feet in diameter to many acres and affect houses, roads and other infrastructure. About 25 to 30 percent of our country is underlain by soluble rock, practically every state contains soluble rock in the subsurface, and large regions in the Appalachians, the Midwest, Florida and Texas are prone to sinkhole collapses. For more information about sinkholes, listen to an interview with USGS scientist Randall Orndorff at http://www.usgs.gov/corecast/details.asp?ID=74 or visit http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthgwsinkholes.html. You can also contact Randall Orndorff at 703-648-4316 or rorndorf
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Contact: Jessica Robertson
jrobertson@usgs.gov
703-648-6624
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

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