Unified Interior Regions

Puerto Rico

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.

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Filter Total Items: 43
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...

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.

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. 

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...

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: Wesley W Stone
Date published: February 6, 2019
Status: Completed

Dam Failure Analysis for the Lago El Guineo Dam, Puerto Rico

The USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5070 describing a hydrologic and hydraulic study to assess the potential hazard to human life and property associated with the hypothetical failure of the Lago El Guineo Dam was completed by the USGS in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. 

Date published: February 4, 2019
Status: Completed

CFWSC Science Highlights

The purpose of this section is to draw your attention to important information that the CFWSC are conducting in your city.   

Date published: December 21, 2018
Status: Active

CFWSC Strategic Science Plan - Communication, Information Management, and Science Support

The USGS Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center Strategic Science Plan 2017-2027: A blueprint for USGS contributions to water resource science in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands

Stamm, J.F., Rodríguez, J.M., Sifuentes, D.F., Sumner, D.M., and Grimsley, K.J. with contributions from Bogeajis, N., Torres-González, S., McBride, W.S., Parks, J., and Decker, J...

Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

CFWSC Strategic Plan - Priority Issues

The USGS Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center Strategic Science Plan 2017-2027: A blueprint for USGS contributions to water resource science in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands

Stamm, J.F., Rodríguez, J.M., Sifuentes, D.F., Sumner, D.M., and Grimsley, K.J. with contributions from Bogeajis, N., Torres-González, S., McBride, W.S., Parks, J., and Decker, J...

Filter Total Items: 19
Date published: April 19, 2016

The United States Interagency Elevation Inventory (USIEI)

The USIEI is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. The project is a collaborative effort of the USGS and NOAA with contributions from other federal agencies. The inventory supports the 3D Elevation Program and the Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping effort. This resource is updated in Spring and...

Date published: April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), 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.

Date published: April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery Data

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Date published: April 12, 2016

The National Map Small-Scale Collection

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Date published: March 10, 2016

Science Data Integration and Delivery

Consistent synthesis, integration, storage, and availability of fundamental data is critical to meeting the needs of USGS Science. We develop databases for hydrography, topography, invasive species, water resources, and many other datasets utilized by resource managers.

Filter Total Items: 50
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Year Published: 2015

Event sedimentation in low-latitude deep-water carbonate basins, Anegada passage, northeast Caribbean

The Virgin Islands and Whiting basins in the Northeast Caribbean are deep, structurally controlled depocentres partially bound by shallow-water carbonate platforms. Closed basins such as these are thought to document earthquake and hurricane events through the accumulation of event layers such as debris flow and turbidity current deposits and the...

Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.
Event sedimentation in low-latitude deep-water carbonate basins, Anegada passage, northeast Caribbean; 2014; Article; Journal; Basin Research; Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.

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Year Published: 2014

Core data from offshore Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

In 2008, as a collaborative effort between Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the U.S. Geological Survey, 20 giant gravity cores were collected from areas surrounding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The regions sampled have had many large earthquake and landslide events, some of which are believed to have triggered tsunamis. The...

Hoy, Shannon K.; Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.
Hoy, S.K., Chaytor, J.D., and ten Brink, U.S., 2014, Core data from offshore Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1227, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141227.

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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: 2013

The northwest trending north Boquerón Bay-Punta Montalva Fault Zone; A through going active fault system in southwestern Puerto Rico

The North Boquerón Bay–Punta Montalva fault zone has been mapped crossing the Lajas Valley in southwest Puerto Rico. Identification of the fault was based upon detailed analysis of geophysical data, satellite images, and field mapping. The fault zone consists of a series of Cretaceous bedrock faults that reactivated and deformed Miocene limestone...

Roig‐Silva, Coral Marie; Asencio, Eugenio; Joyce, James

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Year Published: 2013

Abstracts for the October 2012 meeting on Volcanism in the American Southwest, Flagstaff, Arizona

Though volcanic eruptions are comparatively rare in the American Southwest, the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah host Holocene volcanic eruption deposits and are vulnerable to future volcanic activity. Compared with other parts of the western United States, comparatively little research has been focused on this area, and...

Lowenstern, Jacob B.
Abstracts for the October 2012 meeting on Volcanism in the American Southwest, Flagstaff, Arizona; 2013; OFR; 2013-1026; Edited by Lowenstern, Jacob B.

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Year Published: 2013

Final report and archive of the swath bathymetry and ancillary data collected in the Puerto Rico Trench region in 2002 and 2003

In 2002 and 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), conducted three exploration cruises that mapped for the first time the morphology of the entire tectonic plate boundary stretching from the Dominican Republic in the west to the Lesser Antilles in the east, a...

ten Brink, Uri S.; Danforth, William W.; Polloni, Christopher F.
Final report and archive of the swath bathymetry and ancillary data collected in the Puerto Rico Trench region in 2002 and 2003; 2013; OFR; 2006-1210; ten Brink, Uri; Danforth, William W.; Polloni, Christopher F.

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Year Published: 2012

Significant motions between GPS sites in the New Madrid region: implications for seismic hazard

Position time series from Global Positioning System (GPS) stations in the New Madrid region were differenced to determine the relative motions between stations. Uncertainties in rates were estimated using a three‐component noise model consisting of white, flicker, and random walk noise, following the methodology of Langbein, 2004. Significant...

Frankel, Arthur; Smalley, Robert; Paul, J.
Significant motions between GPS sites in the New Madrid region: implications for seismic hazard; 2012; Article; Journal; Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America; Frankel, Arthur ; Smalley, Robert ; Paul, J.

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Year Published: 2012

Accounts of damage from historical earthquakes in the northeastern Caribbean to aid in the determination of their location and intensity magnitudes

Earthquakes have been documented in the northeastern Caribbean since the arrival of Columbus to the Americas; written accounts of these felt earthquakes exist in various parts of the world. To better understand the earthquake cycle in the Caribbean, the records of earthquakes in earlier catalogs and historical documents from various archives,...

Flores, Claudia H.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Bakun, William H.
Accounts of damage from historical earthquakes in the northeastern Caribbean to aid in the determination of their location and intensity magnitudes; 2012; OFR; 2011-1133; Flores, Claudia H.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Bakun, William H.

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Year Published: 2012

New "Risk-Targeted" Seismic Maps Introduced into Building Codes

Throughout most municipalities of the United States, structural engineers design new buildings using the U.S.-focused International Building Code (IBC). Updated editions of the IBC are published every 3 years. The latest edition (2012) contains new "risk-targeted maximum considered earthquake" (MCER) ground motion maps, which are enabling...

Luco, Nicholas; Garrett, B.; Hayes, J.
New "Risk-Targeted" Seismic Maps Introduced into Building Codes; 2012; Federal Government Series; Federal Government Series; Seismic Waves; Luco, Nicholas; Garrett, B.; Hayes, J

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Year Published: 2011

Historical perspective on seismic hazard to Hispaniola and the northeast Caribbean region

We evaluate the long-term seismic activity of the North-American/Caribbean plate boundary from 500 years of historical earthquake damage reports. The 2010 Haiti earthquakes and other earthquakes were used to derive regional attenuation relationships between earthquake intensity, magnitude, and distance from the reported damage to the epicenter,...

ten Brink, Uri S.; Bakun, W.H.; Flores, C.H.
Historical perspective on seismic hazard to Hispaniola and the northeast Caribbean region; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth; Ten, Brink, U. S.; Bakun, W. H.; Flores, C. H.

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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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Part of the USGS Earthquake Response Team visiting areas affected by the 6.4 earthquake.
January 17, 2020

USGS visits areas affected by the 6.4 Puerto Rico earthquake

Part of the USGS Earthquake Response Team visiting areas affected by the 6.4 earthquake. Place: Guánica Boardwalk. From left to right: Donyelle Davis, Dianne López, Jonathan Godt, Alex Grant

January 17, 2020

Mapping the Ground Failure

My name is Kate Allstadt. I’m a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado, and I'm here in Puerto Rico in the city of Ponce with some colleagues and we're here to map the ground failure that occurred due to this earthquake so we're mapping things like Rock Falls and landslides and liquefaction, as well as lateral spreading which is what we

land movement
January 16, 2020

Landslide along road near Ponce, Puerto Rico

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. This landslide was discovered along a neighborhood road near Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Landslide near Ponce, Puerto Rico

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. This landslide was discovered along a neighborhood road near Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

House damaged by rock fall in Puerto Rico

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Here is an example of a rockfall damage to a house in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Rockfall in Ponce, Puerto Rico

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Here is an example of rockfall material in the yard of a house in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Lateral Spread in Ponce, Puerto Rico

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Here is an example of a lateral spread near a stream in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Lateral spread near creek in Ponce, Puerto Rico

USGS scientists, like Dr. Alex Grant, were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Here is an example of a lateral spread near a creek in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

House marking in Puerto Rico

Houses were damaged during the M6.4 earthquake that struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Houses were tagged by local officials for whether they were safe or not.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
click on image for full description
January 16, 2020

2020 Puerto Rico Earthquake Sequence (as of Jan. 16, 2020)

Earthquakes detected between December 28, 2019 as of January 16, 2020. Subject to updates.

>300 M3+earthquakes recorded*
since Dec. 28, 2019 (within 40km) strong enough to be felt

10 M5+ earthquakes recorded*
since Dec. 28, 2019 (including M6.4) large enough to do damage

** Data as of 2020-01-16 19-

...
land movement
January 16, 2020

House marking in Puerto Rico

Houses were damaged during the M6.4 earthquake that struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. Houses were tagged by local officials for whether they were safe or not.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
click on image for full description
January 16, 2020

Secuencia del Terremoto en Puerto Rico, 2020 (hasta enero 16, 2020)

Terremotos detectados entre diciembre 28, 2019 hasta enero 16, 2020. Sujeto a actualizaciones.

>300 M3+ terremotos* registrados

desde dic 28, 2019 (dentro de 40km) suficientemente fuerte como para ser sentido

10 M5+ terremotos* registrados

desde dic 28, 2019 (incluyendo el de M6.4) suficientemente grande como

...
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PuertoRico Quake
January 13, 2020

Earthquake Aftershock Forecast and Scenarios

PuertoRico Quake
January 13, 2020

Earthquake Aftershock Forecast and Scenarios

PuertoRico Quake
January 12, 2020

Earthquake Aftershock Forecast and Scenarios

PuertoRico Quake
January 11, 2020

Earthquake Aftershock Forecast and Scenarios

PR quakes
January 11, 2020

Earthquakes are unsettling, destructive, and often tragic to the communities they affect. The USGS works diligently to help keep people safer by providing them and their emergency responders the science needed to respond to ongoing hazards.

Last updated April 27, 5pm Pacific time, 2020.

There will be no further updates. Please see the Aftershock Forecast.

PR quakes
January 11, 2020

Los terremotos, como los ocurridos en Puerto Rico, pueden ser preocupantes, destructivos y en muchas ocasiones trágicos para las comunidades afectadas.

Última actualización el 27 de abril, 5pm, hora del Pacífico, 2020.

No habrá más actualizaciones. Consulte el Pronóstico de réplica.

seismic stations
January 10, 2020

Aftershock Forecast and Scenarios

Magnitude 5.8 in Puerto Rico
January 9, 2020

Damaging earthquakes, like the ones in Puerto Rico, can be unsettling, destructive, and often tragic to the communities they affect. This is why the USGS continues to work diligently toward improving public safety by providing emergency responders and others with the scientific resources they need to better respond to ongoing hazards.

relative seismicity
January 8, 2020

Earthquake Aftershock Forecast

Portable Seismic Station
January 7, 2020

Earthquake Update and Aftershock Forecast

Topography and bathymetry map of the Northeastern Caribbean.
January 7, 2020

On Jan. 7, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck the region at 4:24 am local time (08:24:26 UTC). Significant damage is possible. Over the past several weeks, hundreds of small earthquakes have occurred in the Puerto Rico region, beginning in earnest with a M 4.7 earthquake late on December 28 and a M 5.0 event a few hours.

Image: Cladophora Along Lake Michigan
February 28, 2019

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Annual Meeting