Marine Science Faculty Publications

Rates of Landsliding and Cliff Retreat Along the Big Sur Coast, California—Measuring a Crucial Baseline

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Steep topography, active faults, diverse geology, and seasonal storms combine to make the rugged Big Sur area one of the most landslide-prone stretches of the California coast. Landslides in Big Sur frequently damage the popular and economically essential Coast Highway and may impact nearshore marine life. To assist State and Federal agencies in managing this coastline, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are studying the processes and effects of land-sliding and coastal retreat in Big Sur.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 2004-3099