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Studying flood hazards in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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USGS scientists from Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, along with with NOAA, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, and Arrecifes Pro Ciudad, are using video imagery and wave measurements to study flood hazards in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

USGS scientists have installed video cameras and oceanographic instruments off San Juan, Puerto Rico, to better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines. Their work is part of a study funded by USGS after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The offshore instruments measure wave heights and speeds; the onshore video cameras show where waves break on the reef and how high they run up on the shore. USGS is collaborating with NOAA, the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, and Arrecifes Pro Ciudad to support reef-restoration efforts in the Isla Verde Coral Reef Marine Reserve and reduce flooding hazards to San Juan and its international airport. Learn more and view video images online.

Shallow, underwater photo of a reef with various species of corals growing on the rocky substrate.

A wave-tide gauge installed on the reef off Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Isla Verde

Four video cameras overlook the coast at Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Two of them focus on the shoreline: Camera 1 looks at the nearby beach and eastward along the shore, and Camera 2 looks farther away to the eastern end of the beach. The other two look out across the reefs: Camera 3 to the north-northwest, and Camera 4 to the northeast.