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Results of Geologic

and RecoDnaissance at Flamenco, Culebra Island. P.R. June 4. 2012

.June 4. 2012



PO Box 192261 San Juan. Puerto Rico. 00919 C/o: Eng. Carlos Lazaro carlosalazaro57(ii goguie06@'

Attention: Reference:

Mr. Victor Gonzalez

Results of Geologic -'lapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco. Culebra Island. Puerto Rico

This report presents the finding of a geological reconnaissance visit to the site selected for the constructIOn of four \I.:ind turbines in Flamenco. in the Island of Culcbra. Puerto Rico. The site is located at the top of a hill in the northern section of the island. The site and tOPOhTfuphic plJJ1S are sho\'o n in Figures 1 Jnd 2.

Figure 1. USGS Topographic Map, Culehra Quadrangle.

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Results of Geologic 'lapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco. Culebra Island. P.R. June 4. 2012








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FIG l' RE 2, Site plan,

Calle Chile 258 San Juan . P R 009172103 Tel. (787)753-0147 Fax. (787)7538387

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Results of Geologic Mapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, Culebra Island. P.R. June 4. 2012 ... GEOLOGY OF CULEBRA ISLAND

There arc no CSGS published geologic map quadrangles for the island of Culebra. howe' er there are seycral publications \vhlCh give a general description of the gcolob,ric formations of the island. According to the CSGS "Preliminan Tectonic Map of the Easter Antilles Region" (USGS Map [-732, 1972); rhe site should be underlaid largely by granodiorite and qurutz porphyry. gabbro. and some amphibolite. These formations are believed to have been emplaced Juring late Cretaceous, Paleocene & Eo.:cne.

AnOther l'SGS publication rcferen ed is Atlas of Ground-water Resources in Puerto

Rico and the CS. Virgin Islands" (L.S. GEOLOGICAL SGRVEY. Water-Resoun.:es Report 94-4 l(8). Based on this source. the rocks () f Isla de Culcbra arc primarily \'okanic and plutonic rocks of Late Cretaceous age. Andesite lava. lava breeda. and tuffs arc the dominant \'okanic rocks. These rocks were intruded by diorite and diontc porph) T/,. These plutonic type rocks crop out in the north-central part of Ihe island . E rth mO\'ement5 haH! fractured the:,e rocks and t"l,nned in a joint partern. Some faulting is present. \\ Ith major faulting aligned in a north\,. CSlw -outhea-r directIOn. Allu\ium. predominately Lc'mposed of silt and 'Iay with minor quantities of sand and gravel. was !>ubsequently deposited in the fc\\ existing river valleys near the coast. On the coast. lll!lI\ium interfingers with coral. beach. and mangrove deposits. Alluvium is also found in the high \ alley of cast-central Isla dt.! Culebra. The ge01 0gic mJp tor thl puhlication is presented in Figure 3. The CSDA Soil Conservation SCI"\'ice also dassifies the soil!'l of the area In the publication "Soil Survey of Humacao Area of Eastern PUerto Rico" (1977). In ths public<ltion, a single soil type i' identified: Rock Land Rock Land (R51 consists of arc-lS where rock crop -' out on 50- 7 0 percent of the LDo:-.e S\lII1CS also are commun on the surface. V-:ry shallow soli material lies bctv.. een outcrops and stones. land type is in the mountainous parr of the survey area. Slupcs are 60 to 70 pcrtl:nt. The vegetation is bru:-.h,

R0ck ianJ has little \'alue



The LSDA "oil classification :,cn ice map

sho,,\ n in Figure 4.

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Results of Geologic Mapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, Culebra Island, P.R. June 4. 2012





FIGURE 3. General geology of Culebra Island. (from "Atlas of Ground-water Resources in Puerto Rico and the U.S. \ 'irgin Islands" (l'.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY. Water-Resources Investigations Report 9';-1198) .
.. ................





FIGCRE . t CSD.-\ Soil survey classification map of Culebra. Form:'"Soit Sur.e\ of Humaca(l .-\rea of Eastern Puerto Rico" (1977).

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Calle Chile 258, San Juan. P.R. 00917-21 03 Tel. (787)753-0147 Fax. (787)753-8387

Results of Geologie Mapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, Culebra [Sland.. P.R. JlU1e 4. 2012


Based un actual geologic reconnaissance, the geology of the si te is mainly composed of large plutonic granodIOrite-diorite peaks and loose boulders (Figures 5 and 7). mostly unweathered. but some showing spheroidal weathering. Spheroidal weathering is caused when a plutonic body of rock is exposed to the urface, and no longer subject to the high confining pressure of being underground. This change in pres ure and temperature causes the rock to break in round shapes. as the quartz crystals in the rock expand and the less resistant plagioclase minerals are exposed to weathering (Figure 8). ;vtost of the loose boulders on the site might have been moved during the construction of the access road. Surficial soib encountered during the visit are residuaL yellowish brown sandy soils, and it is expected that these soils are shallo\v. and that the bedrock is close to the surface. (Figure 9 ). Colluvium deposits to the eastern and \vestem faces of the mountai n arc composed of small to large. loose fractured boulders in a silty sand matrix (Figure 10). But these particular areas appear to be beyond the project boundaries. report. A cd rock and soil fonnations are in accordance to the cited publications in this geologic map of the site can be found in Figure 1J.

FI(,lRE1'. Diorite peaks

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Calle Chi'e 258. San Juan, P R 00917-2103 Tel. (787)753-0147 Fax. (87)753-8387 -:

Results of Geologic Mapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco. Culebra Island. P.R. June 4. 2012

FIGt:RE 6. Loose diorite boulders are common tbroughout the

F1GCRE 7. Picture

composition of diorite.

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Calle ChIle 258. San Juan, P.R 00917-2103 Tel. (787)7 53-0147 Fax. (787)7 53-8387

Results of Geologic Mapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, CuJebra Island, P.R. June 4.2012



FfGl RE 9. \\'E'atbcred rock" ith resulting residual soil ...

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Calle Chile 258, San Juan P.R 00917-2103 Tel. (7871753-0147 Fax (787 }753-8387

Results of Geologic :\Iapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco! Culebra Island. P.R. June 4,2012

FIGL'RE 10. Colluvium deposits on the eastern side of tbe hill.

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Calle CMe 258. San Jua"l. P R. 00917-2103 Tel. {787/753-0147 Fax. {7871 753-8387

Results of Geologic :\Iappjng and Reconnaissanc.e at flamenco. Culebra Island. P.R. June 4.2012

fIGl'RE 11. General geologic map of the site .

.. CROU:'\OW.-\ TER
Due to the hi gh rl?licf topography, and soi l and rocky composition of the hilL no shallow groundwater !c\'c!s are expected at the s ite, hO\\:cver, some water might be tound in fra-:!un.:s and J.)ints in the piumnic body. Tl1l" L SGS :\tb:-; of Ground-\\'uter Resources in Puerto Rico and C .S.Virgin Islands states rh3t: "The (kpth to the ", :Her table beneath the hills may be 100 feet or more, but in the Il)\.\ cr pan n1' the valleys may be less than IO feet:' Belllg the projcd site at ground dc\ D":lwcen l)'::; to toS meters abo\c sea 1i:\c1. thl.' oc..:urrence \)1' ground\\ mer is Ill\{ ant icipated ..

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Results o f Geologic :\lapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, Culebra Island. P.R. June 4. .2 0 12



TIle ti.lur wind turbines will be located at (he highland. in rclutivelv Hat areas. and awav tTom hill !>Ide $iopc-. The highla!1d is underlaid b) very ruck tonnation;, \\ hich do not suggest problems. potential for lands lides is expected at \\ mJ turbine locations .


Ont! of the most dramatic \.."'-auses of damage to engineering structures duri ng an earthqua ke has been the develop ment of liquefaction in saturated soi l deposits . The i.lffecting liquefaction of sands have been extensively investigated in the past th ree decades. The understanding of the phenomenon has advanced to a degree that anal}1ical procedures hu\e been tonnulated to predict if liquefaction would occur at a si te. More recently. BoulHnger and [dris (2006. 1007}. ;r we ll as Bmy and Sancio (2006). have mwrporated ne\\' concepts and refinements to the !:>tandard practil:es of liquefaction

The latest liquctaction susceptibility criteria t()r saturated silts and days provided gUIdance for sdecting engineering procedure:) tor estimming potential strains. and strength loss during sCl!:>mic loading. For the C3::.e of and :;ilts. monotonic and cyclic undrained loading test data shows that they lransitilm. a narrow range of pla!>tlcilY indices {PI). from 'oil {hat behave more fundamentally like !:>ands (sand-like behu\lon to soils that heha\ e morc fundamentally likl.? days (day-like beha\ \Or). Consi(knng the beha\ ior of fine-grained soils under =:,t!ismic loading, it is re(.;ommcnded that the knll "liquefaction" be reserved tor descrihing the l!t:\,elopment of :; igni ticant or strength 105s in soils exhibiting a sand-like bella\ ior. whereas the ternl cyclic softening be used to describe similar phenomenn in soils exhibiting a cluy-l ike behavior. Clay-like bchador can be expected tor tine grained soils that ha\'e PI ' or 7 (Boulanger

and Tdriss. 2(06).

The plasticit} index (PI) has been described as a robust indicator of liquefaction
According to Bray and Sancia (2006). loos-..:- soils with PI < 12 and w O.H5LL 3r-..:- susceptible to liquefaction while cyclic mobility be expected in soib \\ ith Pl<.20 and w>O.S5LL. Seed et a1. round that sand -like soils llre potentu!l:- li4udiuble if theif PI< 12. LL<37 amI \\" 'O.80LL. In J simi lar way. claylike may he susceptIble to cydic softening lfthei!' PI<10. Ll<. P and w>O.85lL. Cot1:-idering the geolog) L,f the area. the competence and type tl tht.: ,oi l protilt!. and the iot:Jth)n of the \\ ater tabl.:. the site can bl.! c1assitied as not hu\ ing fur


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Calle Chile 258 San Juan, P R 00917-2103 Te (7871753-0147 Fax (787)753-8387


Results of Geologic :\tapping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco, C uJebra Island, P.R. JUDe 4,2012 "SEI S:\UC GROUND MOTIO N VALVES :\1apped Acceleration Parameters
Acc0rdlng to lBe .::! 006. th\? O .::! sec - pectral rc:.ponse acceleration (S5) for the Island of .
C ulebra corresponds to 0.99. Th<:: 1.0 sec spectral response acceleration (S 1) corresponds to 0.30.

Site Class Definition

Based on the

me site class ddinirions. a Class B type

can be a 'Slgned




Esrimate of Peak Ground Acceleration

It is the current standa rd of practice to consider sci mic events corresponding to a 100 0 probabi lity uf exceedan ct: within a 50 year design life (i.e . an annual risk level of 0.2 1% or a .P5-ycur return period) as the Design Basis Earthquake.

Prediction of peak horizontal b1fOund a I.:clerat ions (PHGA) on bedrock in the study area were obtained from the LfSGS Seismic Huard :-Vlaps for Puerto Rico (003). According to the CSGS map ' . a peak hcdroc k acceleration of O.2 5g is applicable to the --+ 7S-ycar return pt!riod. Based on shallow depth to bedrock in the project site. it is expected that the intensity of ground ::;haking wou ld not he significantl> amplified during up" ard propagation soft soils are no t expected). Thcrd'ore. the corre::,pllndmg peak honzonraI acceJeratwn at the site j" approximately O.25g .


\1any toundation types an: used to suppon wind turbines w ith substantial huh height
(>300 tt). \ ertical loads (400 to 600 kips) and moments (l .500 kip-ft to 60.000 kip-It). Shallo\\ turbine Jre typicall) made of reinfo rced concrete. octagonal in shape. The mimmum thameter is usuall) dictated by foundation 5tiffness or maximum allo\\ able For wind turhine fo undation siLing and design checks. rotational stiffness is generall y the first dC'iign \:hcck conducted to con tinn {h3t the nominal stiffness requirement containl:!u in the manubcturer 's l()Jli document is met or exceed. Facwrs of design include des ign !ife. mall:nal mength. ) and fatigue Jnalysis. Design IDuds are pro \ ided hy the turhlllc manutacturer and of".lOd. sen ice. fatigue and sc-i5mil.: loads.

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Calle Chile 258. San Juan. P.R 00917-2 103 Tel. (787 )753-0147 Fax . (787)753-8387


Results of Geologic :\1apping and Reconnaissance at Flamenco. Culebra Island, P.R.

June 4. 2012
Bearing capacity can be the controlling factor in the design of wing turbmes supported on shallow foundations. esp cially for the high edge pressures resulting from the large moments applied to the fOWldation. Corrections for eccentricity and toundation effectiYe area must be applied in this analysis. For settlement. given the magnitude of the vertical loads from the wind turbines and the typical size of the spread footings, the contact pressure from vertical loads is low. typically in the range of 2.500 to 3.000 psf Considering the findmgs of the geologic assessment. the soil profIle expected at the Culebra site should have adequate bearing capacity and stiffness such that settlements would be less than I inch. For this panicular project. the use of shallow spread foolings are expected. Because shallow spread footings are typically embedded about 6 to 8 feet below grade, toundation design would nut be nnpacted by groundwater. A. shalla ..\' \\ ater table is not expected at this si te. submitted.

Jose Antonio Carlo. G.I.T . Project Geologist

mgn Reference


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Calle Chile 258, San Juan P R 00917 -21 03 Tel (787}753-01 4 7 Fax. (787)753-8387