Northeastern Section - 42nd Annual Meeting (12–14 March 2007)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


WUNSCH, David R., New Hampshire Geol Survey, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301,

Dr. Charles T. Jackson was appointed as New Hampshire's first state geologist in 1839, and was directed to conduct a time-limited “geological survey” of the state. Since the completion of New Hampshire's first survey, the State Geologist's position has not been filled on a continuous basis, with spans of years passing between appointments to this important position. In 2001, the State Legislature statutorily established the New Hampshire Geological Survey (NHGS) as the official geological agency of state government. Its mission statement reads: The New Hampshire Geological Survey shall collect data and perform research on the land, mineral, and water resources of the state, and disseminate the findings of such research to the public through maps, reports, and other publications. NHGS also serves as a science support agency for state government, and as a relatively new agency, it looks for opportunities to demonstrate the importance of collecting and providing sound geologic information for society's benefit. In the past two years, New Hampshire has suffered historic flooding events, both of which were exacerbated by the local geologic framework. NHGS provided geologic and hydrologic information to aid in the understanding of the cause and occurrence of the floods, and for incorporation into decision-making during the reclamation process. An examination of the geologic factors related to the flood in Alstead, and the Suncook River avulsion area will be presented, and supplemented with NHGS's efforts to provide information and assistance to state agencies and local governments charged with leading the public through policy decisions in the wake of the floods.