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Big Sur Coastal Landslides

Detailed Description

Large-scale poster describing USGS work.

The USGS studied air photos of the Big Sur coast taken in 1942 and 1994, in cooperation with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC).

We used the photographs to create 3D computer models. By comparing the two models, we can see the differences caused by landslides over 52 years. Using these differences, we could identify hazardous coastal areas and measure the amount of landslide sediments that go into the ocean.

The results of this study helped Caltrans and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary develop a plan to maintain scenic Highway 1 while protecting the marine sanctuary.


Public Domain.