New Land Created by Slide on Big Sur Coast is Eroding

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USGS analysis of air photos collected June 13 shows that new land created by a May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast is eroding. 

A series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.

View 1 of the Mud Creek Slide: 3D point clouds from May 27 and June 13 are used to calculate the topographic change between the May 27 and June 13 photos, or the volume of land lost or gained.

USGS analysis of air photos collected June 13 shows that new land created by a May 20 landslide on California’s Big Sur coast is eroding. The large slide buried State Highway 1 beneath more than 65 feet of rock and dirt, and created about 13 acres of new land bulging into the ocean. Between May 27 and June 13, the seaward edge of the landslide retreated about 16 feet. USGS scientists collect air photos of the slide area weekly to biweekly as weather permits. They use “structure-from-motion” software to turn the photos into 3D maps from which they measure changes in ground elevation.

Learn more about the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

Imagery by Jon Warrick and Andy Ritchie, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.

A series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.

View 2 of the Mud Creek Slide

A series of images showing a steep cliff along the coast from two different dates and the change between them.

View 3 of the Mud Creek Slide

 

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