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Map data from landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria in three study areas in the Lares Municipality, Puerto Rico

May 20, 2021

In late September 2017, intense precipitation associated with Hurricane Maria caused extensive landsliding across Puerto Rico. Much of the Lares municipality in central-western Puerto Rico was severely impacted by landslides. Landslide density in this region was mapped as greater than 25 landslides/km2 (Bessette-Kirton et al., 2019). In order to better understand the controlling variables of landslide occurrence and runout in this region, three 2.5-km2 study areas were selected and all landslides within were mapped in detail using remote-sensing data. Included in the data release are five separate shapefiles: geographic areas representing the mapping extent of the four distinct areas (map areas, filename: map_areas), initiation location polygons (source areas, filename: SourceArea), polygons of the entire impacted area consisting of source, transport, and deposition (affected areas, filename: AffectArea), points on the furthest upslope extent of the landslide source areas (headscarp point, filename: HSPoint), and lines reflecting the approximate travel paths from the furthest upslope extent to the furthest downslope extent of the landslides (runout lines, filename: RunoutLine). These shapefiles contain a number of attributes, some subjective (including general geomorphic setting and impact of human activity), some geometric (including length, width, and depth), and others on the underlying geology and soil of the landslides. A table detailing each attribute, attribute abbreviations, the possible choices for each attribute, and a short description of each attribute is provided as a table in the file labeled AttributeDescription.docx. Mapping was conducted using aerial imagery collected between 9-15 October 2017 at 25-cm resolution (Quantum Spatial, Inc., 2017), a 1-m-resolution pre-event lidar digital elevation model (DEM) (U.S. Geological Survey, 2018), and a 1-m-resolution post-event lidar DEM (U.S. Geological Survey, 2020). In order to accurately determine the extent of the mapped landslides and to verify the georeferencing of the aerial imagery, aerial photographs were overlain with each DEM as well as a pre- and post-event lidar difference (2016-2018), and corrections were made as needed. Additional data sources described in the AttributeDescription document and metadata were used to extract spatial data once mapping was complete and results were appended to the shapefile attribute tables. Data in this release are provided as ArcGIS point (HSPoint), line (RunoutLine), and polygon (AffectArea and SourceArea) feature class files. References: Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Cerovski-Darriau, C., Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Kean, J.W., Godt, J.W, Thomas, M.A., and Hughes, K. Stephen, 2019, Landslides Triggered by Hurricane Maria: Assessment of an Extreme Event in Puerto Rico: GSA Today, v. 29, doi:10.1130/GSATG383A.1 Quantum Spatial, Inc., 2017, FEMA PR Imagery: (accessed October 2017). U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, USGS NED Original Product Resolution PR Puerto Rico 2016: (accessed October 2018). U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, USGS NED Original Product Resolution PR Puerto Rico 2018: (accessed June 2020). Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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