Toro Negro, Puerto Rico

Science Center Objects

Recent Conditions

Note: This site is currently experiencing communications problems so recent data are not available.

Instruments are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including:

Data are updated every 60 minutes and displayed on graphs.

Project Background

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm. Heavy rainfall associated with Hurricane Maria caused landslides in mountainous regions throughout the territory, but rainfall from Hurricane Irma during the first week of September and rainfall from thunderstorms after Hurricane Maria may have also initiated landslides. Preliminary USGS mapping describes high concentration of these landslides in upland areas.

The USGS has installed instruments in a steep hillside northwest of the municipality of Villalba in the Toro Negro State Forest. Data collection at this site supports research on hydrologic factors that control landslide initiation. In many landslide-prone hillsides, infiltration of water from rainfall increases ground-water pressures. These elevated pressures can, in turn, induce landslide movement.

Rain gage, solar panel, and data logger enclosure box.

Rain gage, solar panel, and data logger enclosure box. (Public domain.)

Soil pit with instrumentation.

Soil pit with instrumentation. (Public domain.)