Utuado, Puerto Rico

Science Center Objects

Recent Conditions

Note: This site is currently experiencing sensor problems that cannot be repaired remotely so 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 and around Utuado.

The USGS has installed instruments in a steep hillside east of the municipality of Utuado. 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.

Landslide area where monitoring device was placed in Utado, Puerto Rico.

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

Area above Utuado where possible landslides initiation can occur.

View of the landscape from near the monitoring station. (Public domain.)