UAS Video, July 19, 2017, of the Mud Creek Landslide in Big Sur

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Detailed Description

The Mud Creek landslide on Big Sur coast, California, occurred on May 20, 2017. USGS Mendenhall researcher Shawn Harrison took this video from an unmanned aerial system (UAS) on July 19, 2017. USGS drone footage shows the slide from many angles. It points out buried and unburied parts of Highway 1, as well as new roads built across the slide for monitoring purposes. Harrison works with Jon Warrick of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. Warrick has been collecting and analyzing air photos, lidar imagery, and video from UAS to precisely measure changes in ground elevation along the shoreline, including the slide site. The scientists are sharing information with California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) engineers assessing and monitoring the slide. For more information: Remote Sensing Coastal Change and Big Sur Landslides.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:01:00

Location Taken: Big Sur, CA, US

Video Credits

Video b-roll annotated and spliced together by Amy West (Former Contractor to USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center)



0:00 USGS logo is displayed.
0:03 Quiet sound of a buzzing unmanned aerial system's (UAS) motor plays, and a photograph, that was taken from the air looking at a coastal roadway that runs along steep cliffs where a huge landslide completely buried the road, appears. In the photo, there are new dirt roads carved into the landslide.
0:04 The words of a title begin to appear, or "fly," onto the screen: "Drone Footage, Mud Creek Slide, Big Sur, California, July 19, 2017."
0:08 View changes to a video from the UAS, looking across this huge landslide. The video is in time-lapse mode, sped up to show more in less time. Large boulders are mixed in amongst large volumes of sandy debris. In the background, the edge of the roadway can be seen with parked vehicles. The words appear: "The Mud Creek landslide on May 20, 2017 moved approximately 2 million cubic meters of material."
0:14 The words appear: "(enough to fill a 900-mile convoy of dump trucks!)"
0:16 An arrow appears and points at the edge of the roadway far in the distance, as the UAS drops lower on the landslide. The words appear: "It buried State Highway 1 more than 20 meters (65 feet) deep."
0:21 The view jumps down to the edge of the landslide at the ocean with waves lapping the newly formed coastline. 
0:22 The words appear: "The slide added about 13 acres of new land to the coast."
The UAS camera continues to pan around the "toe" of the landslide. Waves appear to move rapidly but really, the video is just sped up to show more in a shorter amount of time. The waves are eroding the finer sediment from around larger boulders. Temporary roadways can be seen on the landslide, and piles of boulders moved by heavy machinery are stacked along the edge of the coastline here.
0:30 The words appear: "Between May 27 and June 26, the seaward edge of the slide retreated about 30 feet." Workers' pick-up trucks and a trailer are parked on the landslide, and the camera continues to pan around the coastline. Two pieces of heavy equipment, or earth movers, appear, one with a long crane and boom with a scoop at the end, and it is moving the debris.
0:39 The words appear: "New roads built by the California Department of Transportation help monitor and sample the slide."
0:48 The view jumps back up high, looking straight down on the slide, as an earth mover drives along the dirt road past the pick-up trucks. Waves continue to lap the shore, and the ocean water is murky right at the edge of the landslide as the finer sediment gets washed off the landslide by ocean waves. The other side of the coastal roadway is visible in the background.
0:49 The words appear: "The USGS regularly collects imagery of the slide area to measure changes to ground elevation and the coastal environment."
0:57 The UAS video fades out and the USGS logo is displayed.
1:00 FIN