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Big Sur Landslides

The dynamic coastal landscape of California’s Big Sur, about 140 mi south of San Francisco, is a setting where science disciplines in tectonics, landslides, coastal change, ecosystems, wildfire, and hydrology come together. USGS brings expertise from multiple Programs at the USGS to improve understanding as we fulfill the mission of reducing risk from natural hazards for the Nation.

News

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Fire plus Flood equals Beach

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Photo Roundup - December 2020-March 2021

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The Monitor newsletter - Vol. 2 | Issue Spring 2021

Publications

Fire (plus) flood (equals) beach: Coastal response to an exceptional river sediment discharge event

Wildfire and post-fire rainfall have resounding effects on hillslope processes and sediment yields of mountainous landscapes. Yet, it remains unclear how fire–flood sequences influence downstream coastal littoral systems. It is timely to examine terrestrial–coastal connections because climate change is increasing the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires, altering precipitation rates, and ac

Controls on sediment distribution in the coastal zone of the central California transform continental margin, USA

We use >10,000 km of high-resolution seismic-reflection data together with multibeam bathymetry to document complex and highly variable post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) sediment distribution and thickness in the coastal zone (~10 m isobath to 5.6 km offshore) along a ~800 km section of central California's transform continental margin. Sediment thickness ranges from 0 (seafloor bedrock) to 64 m wit

Offshore shallow structure and sediment distribution, Point Sur to Point Arguello, central California

This publication consists of three map sheets that display shallow geologic structure, along with sediment distribution and thickness, for an about 225-km-long offshore section of the central California coast between Point Sur and Point Arguello. Each map sheet includes three maps, at scales of either 1:150,000 or 1:200,000, as well as a set of figures that contain representative high-resolution s

Science

Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
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Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
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Dynamic coastlines along the western U.S.

The west coast of the United States is extremely complex and changeable because of tectonic activity, mountain building, and land subsidence. These active environments pose a major challenge for accurately assessing climate change impacts, since models were historically developed for more passive sandy coasts.
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Dynamic coastlines along the western U.S.

The west coast of the United States is extremely complex and changeable because of tectonic activity, mountain building, and land subsidence. These active environments pose a major challenge for accurately assessing climate change impacts, since models were historically developed for more passive sandy coasts.
Learn More

Landscape Response to Disturbance

This project characterizes and measures sediment-related effects of landscape disturbances (such as major storms, drought, or wildfire) and river management. We focus primarily on the U.S. west coast, and our work relates to natural hazards and resource management.
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Landscape Response to Disturbance

This project characterizes and measures sediment-related effects of landscape disturbances (such as major storms, drought, or wildfire) and river management. We focus primarily on the U.S. west coast, and our work relates to natural hazards and resource management.
Learn More