Citizens’ observatory on rockfalls and rockfall-triggers in the Canary Islands, Spain

The Rockfalls Citizens Observatory in the Canary Islands was launched within the frame of the AGEO project as a pilot experience. The pilot covers the whole Canarian archipelago but three sites were selected to work in direct contact with the local population and authorities: San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Gran Canaria), San Cristóbal de La Laguna (Tenerife) and the island of El Hierro. IGME-CSIC, ULL and LPRC are the responsible institutions for managing the pilot.

Managing entity

Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME)


  • increase rockfall hazards preparedness and risk awareness

  • update of the mass movements national database

  • highlight the necessity of a rockfall risk emergency plan

Why is this pilot important?

The high frequency of rockfalls in the Canary Islands due to the geological and geomorphological frame together with triggering factors such as rain or wind acting makes this Observatory especially important since rockfalls represent part of the day-to-day citizen’s reality. Therefore, on the one hand, the Observatory will increase the hazard awareness of population and local authorities, and, on the other hand, recommendations about improvements regarding ground movement hazard on the ongoing emergency plans will result extremely useful for stakeholders that will also take benefit of other resulting products such as updated inventory of events, susceptibility maps or 3D simulations.

What are we doing in this pilot?

Several actions have been carried out to achieve the objectives of the pilot: engagement activities, source areas cartography, field work monitoring of rockfalls events, recommendations proposal to improve emergency plans, planning and discussion of actions necessary to give continuity to the Observatory further the end of AGEO project.