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: 45
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...

Date published: December 19, 2018
Status: Active

CFWSC Strategic Science Plan

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 13, 2018
Status: Active

Water-Use in Puerto Rico

The National Water-Use Information Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is a cooperative program designed to compile, store, and disseminate water-use information locally and nationwide. Since 1950, the USGS has compiled data at 5-year intervals on amounts of water used in homes, businesses, and on farms in the United States, and has described how that use changed with time.

Date published: December 12, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrology Monitoring Tools

The U.S. Geological Survey provides local and national web-based tools so that policy makers and the public can easily access the information they need to enhance preparedness, response, and resilience.

Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Active

Real-time and Historical Data

These pages provide access to water-resources data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Online access to this data is organized around the categories listed at the bottom.

The USGS investigates the occurrence, quantity, quality...

Date published: December 3, 2018
Status: Active

Real-Time Data Links

The U.S. Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center operates and maintains approximately 929 real-time sites in Florida, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands 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...

Contacts: Wesley W Stone
Date published: November 5, 2018
Status: Completed

Coral Reef Facts

These facts about coral reefs are presented in conjunction with the USGS Coral Reef Project.

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Toro Negro, Puerto Rico

The USGS has installed instruments in a steep hillside northwest of the municipality of Villalba in the Toro Negro State Forest.

Contacts: Ben Mirus
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Utuado, Puerto Rico

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

Contacts: Ben Mirus
Date published: June 19, 2018
Status: Active

Mineral Resource Assessment of U.S. Territories of the Caribbean Basin Archipelago including Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Adjacent Areas

Project objectives are to develop a modern probabilistic quantitative mineral resource assessment of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and adjacent geologically similar areas that examines the potential for minerals-based economic development and trade within the region.

Contacts: Floyd Gray
Filter Total Items: 25
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: 58
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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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Year Published: 2010

Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2007, Caribbean Plate and Vicinity

Extensive diversity of tectonic regimes characterizes the perimeter of the Caribbean plate, involving no fewer than four major adjacent plates (North America, South America, Nazca, and Cocos). Inclined zones of deep earthquakes (Wadati-Benioff zones), deep ocean trenches, and arcs of volcanoes clearly indicate subduction of oceanic lithosphere...

Benz, Harley M.; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio H.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan
Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2007, Caribbean Plate and Vicinity; 2010; OFR; 2010-1083-A; Compiled by: Benz, Harley M.; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Villasenor, Antonio; Furlong, Kevin P.; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan

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Year Published: 2010

The MW 7.0 Haiti Earthquake of January 12, 2010: USGS/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team Report

Executive Summary A field reconnaissance in Haiti by a five-member team with expertise in seismology and earthquake engineering has revealed a number of factors that led to catastrophic losses of life and property during the January 12, 2010, Mw 7.0 earthquake. The field study was conducted from January 26 to February 3, 2010, and included...

Eberhard, Marc O.; Baldridge, Steven; Marshall, Justin; Mooney, Walter; Rix, Glenn J.
The MW 7.0 Haiti Earthquake of January 12, 2010: USGS/EERI Advance Reconnaissance Team Report; 2010; OFR; 2010-1048; Eberhard, Marc O.; Baldridge, Steven; Marshall, Justin; Mooney, Walter; Rix, Glenn J.

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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: 2008

Submarine landslide as the source for the October 11, 1918 Mona Passage tsunami: Observations and modeling

The October 11, 1918 ML 7.5 earthquake in the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico generated a local tsunami that claimed approximately 100 lives along the western coast of Puerto Rico. The area affected by this tsunami is now significantly more populated. Newly acquired high-resolution bathymetry and seismic reflection lines in the...

López-Venegas, A.M.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Geist, Eric L.
A.M. López-Venegas, U.S. ten Brink, E.L. Geist, Submarine landslide as the source for the October 11, 1918 Mona Passage tsunami: Observations and modeling, Marine Geology, Volume 254, Issues 1–2, 21 August 2008, Pages 35-46, ISSN 0025-3227, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2008.05.001.

Filter Total Items: 128
Congressional event following the 6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico
January 19, 2020

Congressional event following the 6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico

Congressional event following the 6.4 earthquake in Puerto Rico held on Jan. 20, 2020. Dr. Jonathan Godt (USGS) and Dr. Elizabeth A. Vanacore (Red Sismica Puerto Rico) answered questions to congressmen: Yauco's major, Bill Posey, Jenniffer González Colón, Stephanie Murphy, Donna Shalala

January 17, 2020

Mapping the Ground Failure—Puerto Rico Post-Dec 28, 2019 Quake

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

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

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-

...
Filter Total Items: 60
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

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.

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.

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)