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: 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: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Toro Negro, Puerto Rico

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:

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Utuado, Puerto Rico

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:

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
Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: December 4, 2016

Biology, Impacts and Control of Invasive Reptiles

Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles.

Date published: November 26, 2016
Status: Active

Drought Conditions in Puerto Rico

A drought is a period of drier-than-normal conditions that results in water-related problems. When rainfall is less than normal for several weeks, months, or years, the flow of streams and rivers declines, water levels in lakes and reservoirs fall, and the depth to water in wells increases. If...

Filter Total Items: 47
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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.

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Year Published: 2007

Near-Surface Shear Wave Velocity Versus Depth Profiles, VS30, and NEHRP Classifications for 27 Sites in Puerto Rico

In 2004 and 2005 the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN), Puerto Rico Strong Motion Program (PRSMP) and the Geology Department at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey to study near-surface shear-wave (Vs) and compressional-wave (Vp) velocities in and around major urban areas of Puerto Rico....

Odum, Jack K.; Williams, Robert A.; Stephenson, William J.; Worley, David M.; von Hillebrandt-Andrade, Christa; Asencio, Eugenio; Irizarry, Harold; Cameron, Antonio
Near-Surface Shear Wave Velocity Versus Depth Profiles, VS30, and NEHRP Classifications for 27 Sites in Puerto Rico; 2007; OFR; 2007-1174; Odum, Jack K.; Williams, Robert A.; Stephenson, William J.; Worley, David M.; von Hillebrandt-Andrade, Christa; Asencio, Eugenio; Irizarry, Harold; Cameron, Antonio

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Year Published: 2005

Survey explores active tectonics in northeastern Caribbean

There is renewed interest in studying the active and complex northeastern Caribbean plate boundary to better understand subduction zone processes and for earthquake and tsunami hazard assessments [e.g., ten Brink and Lin, 2004; ten Brink et al., 2004; Grindlay et al., 2005]. To study the active tectonics of this plate boundary, the...

Carbó, A.; Córdoba, D.; Muñoz-Martín, A.; Granja, J.L.; Martín-Dávila, J.; Pazos, A.; Catalán, M.; Gómez, M.; ten Brink, Uri S.; von Hillebrandt, Christa; Payero, J.

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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: 2004

Map showing landslide susceptibility in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico

The risk of landslides during intense or prolonged rainfall is high in steeply sloping areas such as the municipality of Ponce, where 56 percent of the 301-square-kilometer municipality has slopes 10 degrees or greater. These are areas where the possibility of landsliding increases when triggering conditions such as heavy rainfall or excavation...

Larsen, Matthew C.; Santiago, Marilyn; Jibson, Randall W.; Questell, Eduardo
Map showing landslide susceptibility in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico; 2004; SIM; 2818; Larsen, Matthew C.; Santiago, Marilyn; Jibson, Randall W.; Questell, Eduardo

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Year Published: 2004

New seafloor map of the Puerto Rico Trench helps assess earthquake and tsunami hazards

The Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, is located where the North American (NOAM) plate is subducting under the Caribbean plate (Figure l). The trench region may pose significant seismic and tsunami hazards to Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands, where 4 million U.S. citizens reside. Widespread damage in Puerto Rico and...

ten Brink, Uri S.; Danforth, William; Polloni, Christopher; Andrews, Brian D.; Llanes Estrada, Pilar; Smith, Shepard; Parker, Eugene; Uozumi, Toshihiko
New seafloor map of the Puerto Rico Trench helps assess earthquake and tsunami hazards; 2004; Article; Journal; Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union; ten Brink, Uri; Danforth, William; Polloni, Christopher; Andrews, Brian; Llanes, Pilar; Smith, Shepard; Parker, Eugene; Uozumi, Toshihiko

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Year Published: 2004

Stress interaction between subduction earthquakes and forearc strike-slip faults: Modeling and application to the northern Caribbean plate boundary

Strike-slip faults in the forearc region of a subduction zone often present significant seismic hazard because of their proximity to population centers. We explore the interaction between thrust events on the subduction interface and strike-slip faults within the forearc region using three-dimensional models of static Coulomb stress change. Model...

ten Brink, Uri S.; Lin, J.
Stress interaction between subduction earthquakes and forearc strike-slip faults: Modeling and application to the northern Caribbean plate boundary; 2004; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth; ten, Brink, U.; Lin, J.

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Year Published: 2003

Documentation for 2003 USGS Seismic Hazard Maps for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Mueller, C.S.; Frankel, A.D.; Petersen, M.D.; Leyendecker, E.V.
Documentation for 2003 USGS Seismic Hazard Maps for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; 2003; OFR; 2003-379; Mueller, C. S.; Frankel, A. D.; Petersen, M. D.; Leyendecker, E. V.

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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: 2001

Earthquakes and tsunamis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Many earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred in the northeastern Caribbean, where the movements of the Earth's surface plates are rapid and complicated. Future such events pose serious hazards to the 3.7 million people who live in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nealon, J.W.; Dillon, William P.
Earthquakes and tsunamis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; 2001; FS; 141-00; Nealon, J. W.; Dillon, W. P.

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Year Published: 2001

Map Showing Susceptibility to Earthquake-Induced Landsliding, San Juan Metropolitan Area, Puerto Rico

Analysis of slope angle and rock type using a geographic information system indicates that about 68 percent of the San Juan metropolitan area has low to no susceptibility to earthquake-induced landslides. This is at least partly due to the fact that 45 percent of the San Juan metropolitan area is constructed on slopes of 3 degrees or less, which...

Santiago, Marilyn; Larsen, Matthew C.
Map Showing Susceptibility to Earthquake-Induced Landsliding, San Juan Metropolitan Area, Puerto Rico; 2001; OFR; 2001-39; Santiago, Marilyn; Larsen, Matthew C.

Filter Total Items: 112
land movement
January 16, 2020

Inspecting boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
landslide
January 16, 2020

Landslide triggered by M6.4 earthquake 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 landslide failure along a residential road in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Inspecting boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
fissure
January 16, 2020

Lateral spread along road caused by M6.4 earthquake 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 lateral spread along a residential road in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
land movement
January 16, 2020

Inspecting boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
liquefaction
January 16, 2020

Liquefaction and lateral spread from M6.4 earthquake 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 lateral spread near a stream in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

land movement
January 16, 2020

Inspecting boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
January 16, 2020

Damaged curb caused in Ponce, Puerto Rico caused by M6.4 quake

USGS scientists were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

land movement
January 16, 2020

Inspecting boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
quake damage
January 16, 2020

Lateral spread and damage to boardwalk 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. The boardwalk in Ponce, Puerto Rico was damaged by the quake.

land movement
January 16, 2020

Researchers deployed in Puerto Rico after earthquake

Meet the team of USGS scientists who were deployed to assess land deformation and movement after a large M6.4 earthquake struck Puerto Rico on January 7, 2020.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
lateral spread
January 16, 2020

Liquefaction and lateral spread near stream 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.

Filter Total Items: 56
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)

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.