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Site Evaluation. Important Features and Characteristics. Location and Boundaries Surrounding land uses Topography Drainage Wetlands Floodplains Water table Geotechnical Features Contaminated Soils – need for remediation Engineering characteristics of soils – problem soils

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Important features and characteristics
Important Features and Characteristics

  • Location and Boundaries

    • Surrounding land uses

  • Topography

  • Drainage

    • Wetlands

    • Floodplains

    • Water table

  • Geotechnical Features

    • Contaminated Soils – need for remediation

    • Engineering characteristics of soils – problem soils

    • Slope stability – slides and slips

    • Erosion potential

  • Existing Utilities and Services

  • Environmental Resources

    • Vegetation and wildlife

    • EndangeredSpecies

    • Areas of unusual aesthetic quality

  • Historical and Cultural Features


Location and boundaries
Location and Boundaries

  • Subject of CEE 121 Elementary Surveying

  • Need to know horizontal and possibly vertical locations of known points that define the boundaries

  • These points must be tied into an adopted system of reference that accounts for the curvature of the earth

    • State Plane Coordinate System (SPCS)

    • May use a local coordinate system in some states, but these are being superseded by the SPCS

  • In Nevada, the Civil Engineering PE license does not qualify an individual to do boundary surveys

    • A PLS license is needed


1 location and boundaries cont d
1. Location and Boundaries, cont’d

  • What is taking place on the neighboring sites?

    • Military complex?

    • Urban area?

    • Recreation area?

    • Agricultural land?

    • Mining?

  • How will the proposed development be affected by this land use, and vice-versa?

  • Does the site access public thoroughfares?


2 topography
2. Topography

  • What are the high and low points on the site?

  • How much land is basically flat?

  • Does the site slope in some predominant direction?

  • Does it have mountains or arroyos? Cliffs?

  • How will topography influence layout?


Topographic maps contour map principles source wikipedia
Topographic MapsContour map principles(source: Wikipedia)



Some general principles of contour maps
Some General Principles of Contour Maps

  • All points of equal elevation are joined – contour lines are continuous

  • The contour interval may vary depending on the scale of the map: 2ft, 10ft, 20 ft, 50ft, 100 ft

  • When reading the numbers on the contour lines indicating elevation, determine the uphill direction (it may be the top of the number)

  • Water flows downhill perpendicular to the contour line

  • The rule of V’s – sharp pointed V’s indicate streams in valleys; the point of the V is the location of the stream

  • The rule of O’s -closed loops are normally uphill on the inside and downhill on the outside, and the innermost loop is the highest area.

  • If a loop instead represents a depression, some maps note this by short lines radiating from the inside of the loop, called "hachures".

  • Spacing of contours - close contours indicate a steep slope; distant contours a shallow slope. Two or more contour lines merging indicates a cliff.



Establishing a vertical profile 1600 ft to 1700 ft along the blue line
Establishing a Vertical Profile(1600 ft to 1700 ft along the blue line)










3 drainage
3. Drainage

  • Where will water go when it rains?

  • Identify any Floodplains

    • 50 year storm

    • 100 year storm

    • 250 year storm

    • 500 year storm

  • Identify Wetlands

  • CEE 413 Water Resources Engineering I





4 geotechnical features
4. Geotechnical Features blue

  • Are the soil types known?

    • Some types of soils create construction problems (e.g. expansive soils)

    • Some soils need to drain well (e.g. septic tanks)

  • Are there any soils with toxic substances in them?

  • Are there slopes that pose stability threats?

  • Are there any geothermal resources?

  • CEE 334 Soil Mechanics





Superfund sites in los angeles
SuperFund blue Sites in Los Angeles


5 existing utilities and services
5. Existing Utilities and Services blue

  • Where are the nearest available public water and sewer lines and what reserve capacity do they have?

  • What roads border or serve the area and how adequate are they to serve the expected development?

  • Where is the nearest public transportation and how frequent is the service?

  • Where are the electrical power sources?


6 environmental resources
6. Environmental Resources blue

  • Is the site good for solar energy?

  • Is the site good for wind energy?

  • Are there any endangered species on the site?

  • Are there any sensitive areas?

    • Aesthetic

    • Animal and plant species


Landscape character source states of jersey consultation panel
Landscape Character blueSource: States of Jersey Consultation Panel


Site evaluation

Landscape Visual Quality Example blueSource: Using GIS in Landscape Visual Quality AssessmentYingxin Wu, Ian Bishop, HemayetHossain, Victor Sposito. Applied GISVolume 2, No. 3, December 2006


Endangered species example source us fish and wildlife service
Endangered Species Example blueSource: US Fish and Wildlife Service


Preservation of biodiversity is a global concern source the nature conservancy
Preservation of Biodiversity is a Global Concern blueSource: The Nature Conservancy


7 historical and cultural features
7. Historical and Cultural Features blue

  • Are there Historic Buildings?

  • Are there Indian burial sites?

  • Are there other sacred sites?


Historic districts source the city of moline il
Historic Districts blueSource: The City of Moline, IL


Historic structures approvals needed for alteration source city of jacksonville il
Historic Structures – Approvals Needed for Alteration blueSource: City of Jacksonville, IL


Fort des moines located on city map
Fort Des blueMoines – Located on City Map


Site evaluation
End blue