Landslides Triggered by Hurricane Maria
Boulder, Colorado, USA: Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico on 20
September 2017 and triggered more than 40,000 landslides in at least
three-fourths of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities. In a new article from GSA Today, authors Erin Bessette-Kirton and colleagues write that
"the number of landslides that occurred during this event was two orders of
magnitude greater than those reported from previous hurricanes."
The authors, from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Puerto
Rico, evaluate the extent and characteristics of Maria-induced landslides
throughout Puerto Rico. They present an assessment of island-wide landslide
density, which they compare, in conjunction with rainfall data, to tropical
cyclone systems that have affected Puerto Rico since 1960. Additionally,
they discuss the conditions specific to landsliding in Puerto Rico and
examine the impact of environmental variables (e.g., rainfall, soil
moisture, and geology) on observed variations in island-wide landsliding.
In their analysis, available online at
https://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/science/G383A/article.htm, they show
that the average rainfall from Hurricane Maria in mountainous areas was
greater than that of any other hurricane or tropical storm in Puerto Rico
An important aim of the study, the authors write, is to achieve a better
understanding of the factors that cause landslides in Puerto Rico in order
to enhance susceptibility analyses and risk management efforts.
Landslides Triggered by Hurricane Maria: Assessment of an Extreme Event
in Puerto Rico
Lead author: Erin K. Bessette-Kirton, U.S. Geological Survey, email: email@example.com.
Coauthors: Corina Cerovski-Darriau, William H. Schulz, Jeffrey A. Coe,
Jason W. Kean, Jonathan W. Godt, Matthew A. Thomas, U.S. Geological Survey,
and K. Stephen Hughes, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
articles are open access online; for a print copy, please contact Kea
Giles. Please discuss articles of interest with the authors before
publishing stories on their work, and please make reference to GSA Today in articles published.
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