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We conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens and landscapes of the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean region.

News

Date published: February 28, 2019

Evans presents at ASLO 2019

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Annual Meeting

Date published: November 29, 2018

Studying flood hazards in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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.

Date published: September 11, 2018

USGS Is Installing 20 Storm-Tide Sensors Along Puerto Rican Coast for Isaac

Hurricane response crews from the U.S. Geological Survey are installing storm-tide sensors at key locations in Puerto Rico from Cabo Rojo to Naguabo in advance of Hurricane Isaac. Under a mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the USGS plans to deploy about 20 sensors along the island’s coast

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USGS
Date Published: October 23, 2019
Status: Active

U.S. Seismic Hazard Maps–Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Samoa and the Pacific Islands

Seismic hazard maps for Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Samoa and the Pacific Islands.

View from the sky of a tropical coastline and a beach with ocean water so clear the coral reef can be seen.
Date Published: August 23, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Puerto Rico

To better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines, USGS scientists have installed video cameras and oceanographic instruments off San Juan and Rincón, Puerto Rico. 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...

View from the sky of a tropical coastline and a beach with ocean water so clear the coral reef can be seen.
Date Published: July 22, 2019
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Tres Palmas

Four video cameras look westward over the coast and the coral reef at Tres Palmas in Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Two cameras look out at the horizon and over the ocean for the mid-field view; one camera offers a zoomed-in, far-field view overlooking the reef and out to the island of Desecheo, a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge; and another camera focuses on the beach.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, Miguel Canals-Silander, Patricia Chardon Maldonado
View from atop a building looks down on a sandy beach with a rainbow, palm tree just below view, and buildings in distance.
Date Published: July 22, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Isla Verde

USGS scientists installed video cameras atop a building and oceanographic instruments off San Juan, Puerto Rico, to better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Camera was positioned halfway in and out of water to show a coastal bluff with vegetation in background, coral reef underwater.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts to Reefs

This study is part of the USGS Coral Reef Project.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Coral head that looks like lettuce sits on sandy bottom in clear blue water and is surrounded by brightly colored fish.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
USGS
Date Published: June 26, 2019
Status: Active

Information by Region-Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

  

Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
Date Published: April 19, 2019
Status: Active

United States Assessments of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources

USGS Energy Resources Program provides periodic assessments of the oil and natural gas endowment of the United States and the World (click here for information about World Oil and Gas Assessments).  This website provides access to new, prioritized, assessment results and supporting data for the United States, as part...

Topo Map west Florida
Date Published: February 8, 2019
Status: Active

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Maps are an integral part of water-science activities and the Caribbean Florida Water Science Center utilizes and produces maps for all types of hydrologic projects and in information dissemination. Maps are also helpful for providing the user with a geographical reference to our water information. 

Hydrologist conducting a sedimentation survey at Lago La Plata, Puerto Rico
Date Published: February 8, 2019
Status: Active

Water Quality for Puerto Rico

The U.S. Geological Survey operates and maintains approximately 7,300 streamgages nationwide, 194 in Puerto Rico, which provide long-term, accurate, and unbiased information that meets the needs of many diverse users. The USGS collects the streamflow data needed by Federal, State, and local agencies for planning and operating water-resources projects and regulatory programs.

The links...

Hurricane Irma
Date Published: February 7, 2019
Status: Active

Hurricanes

Preventing flood hazards, such as hurricane-induced tidal surge, from becoming human disasters requires an understanding of the relative risks floods pose to specific communities and knowledge of the processes by which flood waters rise, converge, and abate. Historically, hurricane-induced tidal surge has been documented through measurement of high-water marks left on structures or vegetation...

Contacts: Richard L Kane
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NWIS Mapper screenshot
March 5, 2019

The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Hydrologic Conditions Chart of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico
February 5, 2019

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Hydrologic Conditions Chart of Selected Reservoirs in Puerto Rico
February 5, 2019

The following graphs show water surface elevations above NGVD 1929 in selected reservoirs for several years, including 2015. The purpose of these graphs is to compare water surface elevations during 2015 with water surface elevations observed during years when documented droughts have occurred.

Map of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding continents with boxes drawn around areas to show study locations.
January 1, 2019

This data release provides flooding extent polygons (flood masks) and depth values (flood points) based on wave-driven total water levels for 22 locations within the States of Hawaii and Florida, the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For each of the 22 locations there are eight associated flood mask

USGS
January 1, 2019

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the Territory of Puerto Rico (the islands of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Vieques). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each four nearshore wave energy return periods (r

USGS
January 1, 2019

This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave

USGS
January 1, 2019

Time-series data of water surface elevation, waves, currents, temperature, and salinity collected between 17 May 2017 and 17 Jan 2018 off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico in support of a study on circulation and sediment transport dynamics over coral reefs. The data are available in NetCDF format, grouped together in zip files by instrument site location. A README.txt file details the files con

Application screenshot thumbnail
September 1, 2017

The National Water Information System (NWIS) web application provides access to real-time and historical surface-water, groundwater, water-quality, and water-use data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites across all 50 states.

Structure datasets for the nation from The National Map
April 20, 2016

USGS data portray selected structures data, including the location and characteristics of manmade facilities. Characteristics consist of a structure's physical form (footprint), function, name, location, and detailed information about the structure. The types of structures collected are largely determined by the needs of the disaster planning and response and homeland security organizations.

Boundaries datasets for the nation from The National Map.
April 19, 2016

Boundaries data or governmental units represent major civil areas including states, counties, Federal, and Native American lands, and incorporated places such as cities and towns.

Illustration related to the the river corridor
April 19, 2016

The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) are used to portray surface water on The National Map.

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Application to explore US Oil and Gas Assessments
March 19, 2019

This map shows the provinces assessed by the USGS for undiscovered oil and gas resources. 

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

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Year Published: 2019

Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision making...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Cole, Aaron D.; Lowe, Erik; Shope, James B.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Nickel, Barry A.; McCall, Robert T.; van Dongeren, Ap R.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Cole, A.D., Lowe, E., Shope, J.B., Gibbs, A.E., Nickel, B.A., McCall, R.T., van Dongeren, A.R., and Beck, M.W., 2019, Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1027, 42 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191027.

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Year Published: 2018

Seismic sensors record a hurricane’s roar

The instruments installed at Global Seismographic Network (GSN) stations were designed to record Earth’s vibrations, but they sometimes pick up sound waves from unexpected sources. For example, newly installed infrasound sensors at a station on Puerto Rico recorded the passage of Hurricane Maria on 20 September 2017.

Wilson, David C.; Davis, Peter; Ebeling, Carl; Hutt, Charles R.; Hafner, Katrin
Wilson, D. C., P. Davis, C. Ebeling, C. R. Hutt, and K. Hafner (2018), Seismic sensors record a hurricane’s roar, Eos, 99, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EO102963. Published on 03 August 2018.

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Year Published: 2016

The 3D Elevation Program: summary for Puerto Rico

Elevation data are essential to a broad range of applications, including forest resources management, wildlife and habitat management, scientific research, national security, recreation, and many others. For the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, elevation data are critical for flood risk management, landslide mitigation, natural resources conservation...

Carswell, William J.

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Year Published: 2016

Hydrologic conditions in the South Coast aquifer, Puerto Rico, 2010–15

In 1958, the U.S. Geological Survey began documenting hydrologic conditions, including groundwater levels, groundwater withdrawals for agricultural irrigation and public water supply, and water quality, in the South Coast aquifer, Puerto Rico. This information has improved the understanding of the water resources of the region. The hydrologic data...

Torres-Gonzalez, Sigfredo; Rodriguez, Jose M.
Torres-González, Sigfredo, and Rodríguez, J.M., 2016, Hydrologic conditions in the South Coast aquifer, Puerto Rico, 2010–15: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1215, 32 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151215.

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Year Published: 2015

Source, use and disposition of freshwater in Puerto Rico, 2010

Introduction Water diverted from streams and pumped from wells constitutes the main source of water for the 78 municipios of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A better understanding of water-use patterns is needed, particularly regarding the amount of water used, where and how this water is used and disposed, and how human activities affect water...

Molina, Wanda L.
Molina-Rivera, W.L., 2015, Source, Use, and disposition of freshwater in Puerto Rico, 2010, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3044, 6 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153044.

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Year Published: 2014

Estimated water use in Puerto Rico, 2010

Water-use data were aggregated for the 78 municipios of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for 2010. Five major offstream categories were considered: public-supply water withdrawals and deliveries, domestic and industrial self-supplied water use, crop-irrigation water use, and thermoelectric-power freshwater use. One instream water-use category also...

Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.
Estimated water use in Puerto Rico, 2010; 2014; OFR; 2014-1117; Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.

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Year Published: 2013

Vs30 and spectral response from collocated shallow, active- and passive-source Vs data at 27 sites in Puerto Rico

Shear‐wave velocity (VS) and time‐averaged shear‐wave velocity to 30 m depth (VS30) are the key parameters used in seismic site response modeling and earthquake engineering design. Where VS data are limited, available data are often used to develop and refine map‐based proxy models of VS30 for predicting ground‐motion intensities. In this paper,...

Odum, Jack K.; Stephenson, William J.; Williams, Robert A.; von Hillebrandt-Andrade, Christa
Vs30 and spectral response from collocated shallow, active- and passive-source Vs data at 27 sites in Puerto Rico; 2013; Article; Journal; Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America; Odum, Jack K.; Stephenson, William J.; Williams, Robert A.; von Hillebrandt-Andrade, Christa

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Year Published: 2010

Source, Use, and Disposition of Freshwater in Puerto Rico, 2005

Water diverted from streams and pumped from wells constitutes the main sources of water for the 78 municipios of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. A better understanding is needed about water-use patterns, particularly about the amount of water used, where and how this water is used and disposed, and how human activities impact water resources....

Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.
Source, Use, and Disposition of Freshwater in Puerto Rico, 2005; 2010; FS; 2009-3080; Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.

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Year Published: 2008

Estimated Water Use in Puerto Rico, 2005

Water-use data were compiled for the 78 municipios of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for 2005. Five offstream categories were considered: public-supply water withdrawals and deliveries, domestic self-supplied water use, industrial self-supplied ground-water withdrawals, crop irrigation water use, and thermoelectric power freshwater use. One water...

Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.; Gómez-Gómez, Fernando
Estimated Water Use in Puerto Rico, 2005; 2008; OFR; 2008-1286; Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.; Gomez-Gomez, Fernando

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Year Published: 2005

Estimated water use in Puerto Rico, 2000

Water-use data were compiled for the 78 municipios of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for 2000. Five offstream categories were considered: public-supply water withdrawals, domestic self-supplied water use, industrial self-supplied withdrawals, crop irrigation water use, and thermoelectric power fresh water use. Two additional categories also were...

Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.
Estimated water use in Puerto Rico, 2000; 2005; OFR; 2005-1201; Molina-Rivera, Wanda L.

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Year Published: 2002

Geology and hydrogeology of the Caribbean islands aquifer system of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Poorly lithified to unconsolidated carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks of Tertiary (Oligocene to Pliocene) and Quaternary (Pleistocene to Holocene) age compose the South Coast aquifer and the North Coast limestone aquifer system of Puerto Rico; poorly lithified to unlithified carbonate rocks of late Tertiary (early Miocene to Pliocene) age...

Renken, Robert A.; Ward, W. C.; Gill, I.P.; Gómez-Gómez, Fernando; Rodríguez-Martínez, Jesús
Geology and hydrogeology of the Caribbean islands aquifer system of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; 2002; PP; 1419; Renken, Robert A.; Ward, W. C.; Gill, I. P.; Gomez-Gomez, Fernando; Rodriguez-Martinez, Jesus; and others

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Year Published: 1998

Quality-assurance plan for water-use program activities of the Caribbean District

Molina-Rivera, W. L.
Quality-assurance plan for water-use program activities of the Caribbean District; 1998; OFR; 98-547; Molina-Rivera, W. L.

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multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: tethered ADCP – A tethered acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) is pulled through a cross section of Rio de La Plata near Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2019. Hydrologic technicians with the Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center visited multiple USGS stream gage sites to make high flow

...
Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: computer
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: computer

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: computer – Gage height and precipitation data recorded by sensors and measured manually are logged into an electronic notebook, September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: Crest Stage Gage
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: Crest Stage Gage

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: Crest Stage Gage – The distance of a cork line from a known gage height is measured September 25. The cork line was left on a crest stage gage after a high flow event.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: Gage house
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: Gage house

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: Gage house – Manuel Rosario, with the Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, checks the sensors in the gage house September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: computing gage height
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: computing gage height

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: computing gage height – Manual Rosario does some math required to compute the gage height September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: recording gage height
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: recording gage height

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: recording gage height – A ding-wop, a weight attached to measuring devices, was used to measure the gage height, September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: staging the measurement
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: staging measurement

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: staging the measurement – Manuel Rosario, with the Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, stages an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) to measure high flow September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: downstream control
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: downstream control

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: downstream control – The pool pictured is almost twice it’s normal size and depth after Tropical Storm Karen passed the island, September 25.

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen:  finishing the visit
September 25, 2019

Stream gaging in PR after Tropical Storm Karen: finishing the visit

Stream gaging in Puerto Rico after Tropical Storm Karen: finishing the visit – Manuel Rosario, with the Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center, walks to the gage house after completing a discharge measurement September 25.

person in tunnel
September 13, 2019

Jim Smith Inside Lucchetti Dam in Puerto Rico

Jim Smith working on cabling inside of Lucchetti dam in Puerto Rico, assisting the Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program with Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. 

View looking out over the ocean water with an island in the distance.
July 22, 2019

Camera 1 Snapshot at Tres Palmas, Puerto Rico

Video camera snapshot at Tres Palmas in Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico.

View from the sky of a tropical coastline and a beach with ocean water so clear the coral reef can be seen.
July 19, 2019

Tres Palmas, Rincon, Puerto Rico

Photograph collected from a UAS flown over the beach at Tres Palmas in Rincón, Puerto Rico.

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Image: Cladophora Along Lake Michigan
February 28, 2019

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Annual Meeting

Shallow, underwater photo of a reef with various species of corals growing on the rocky substrate.
November 29, 2018

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.

Hurricane Isaac carousel image
September 11, 2018

Hurricane response crews from the U.S. Geological Survey are installing storm-tide sensors at key locations in Puerto Rico from Cabo Rojo to Naguabo in advance of Hurricane Isaac. Under a mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the USGS plans to deploy about 20 sensors along the island’s coast

Underwater photo of a sandy and rocky reef environment with a tray of equipment held down on the rocky area with weights.
September 7, 2018

USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi was quoted in an August 22 Nature news article about Hurricane Maria’s effects on deep-water coral reefs off Puerto Rico.

Image shows USGS scientists in PFDs with an acoustic doppler sensor in a flooded river
May 31, 2018

No one has a crystal ball to foresee what will happen during the 2018 hurricane season that begins June 1, but NOAA forecasters say there’s a 75 percent chance this hurricane season will be at least as busy as a normal year, or busier.

A USGS hydrologic technician examines a wall in Puerto Rico for a high-water mark after flooding from Hurricane Maria.
November 8, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey field crews in Puerto Rico are rapidly repairing the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, tracking the scope of storm floods, and documenting the new contours of rivers re-sculpted by floodwaters and mountains re-shaped by landslides.

Preparing to measure Irma's storm surge in Puerto Rico
September 6, 2017

 To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

Storm-tide sensor installed to a concrete post in Puerto Rico prio to Hurricane Irma.
September 5, 2017

To learn more about USGS’ role providing science to decision makers before, during and after Hurricane Irma, visit the USGS Hurricane Irma page.

person standing next to large boulder
March 20, 2017

Geologists have discovered evidence that unusual seas detached living corals from a Caribbean reef and scattered them far inland, as boulders, during the last centuries before Columbus arrived. The new findings will reinforce precautions against coastal hazards, Caribbean tsunami specialists said.

Catawba rhododendron blooming at Round Bald, NC
August 11, 2016

“From the mountains to the coast, the southeastern U.S. contains ecosystems that harbor incredible biodiversity. Many of those ecosystems are already highly at risk from urbanization and other human land-use change. Identifying the ecosystems at risk from climate change will help inform conservation and management to ensure we don’t lose that biodiversity.” (Jennifer Constanza, report author)

As US models predicted Hurricane Joaquin washed out a road at Kitty Hawk, NC in 2015.
June 1, 2016

New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches

As the 2016 hurricane season opens, weather forecasters, emergency managers and coastal residents have access to tools developed by the U.S. Geological Survey that predict, more precisely than ever, where beach erosion and beachfront flooding will take place during hurricanes and other storms.

 

Map of the 48 contiguous states showing Microcystin concentrations
May 31, 2016

First-of-its-kind survey shows that algal toxins are found nationwide

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