UCSB Beach Cliff Erosion - Rock falls and mass wasting

Rain, water, ground squirrels, surfers, weathering all contribute to the breakdown of the siltstone and sandstone bedrock that constitutes the UCSB beach cliff.
Fragments of the cliff continually break off and accumulate at the bottom of the cliff as talus; cone shaped accumulations are called talus cones. The cones grow larger and larger over time, until attacked and washed away by ocean waves. This page and subsequent pages shows examples of some talus cones and then how they were washed away by large storm waves that drove into the cliffs during the week of January 8-12, 2001.
Pile of loose sand and shale rock at base of UCSB beach cliff. It fell from the brown area in shadow so recently that some of the vegetation in the pile is still green. 16 Nov 2000. ©AGS2000. Pile of shale rock at base of UCSB beach cliff. The rocks fell from the recessed area partly in shadow right of the stick which is 5 feet long. These rocks were completely washed during the storms and high tides of 8-12 January 2001. 16 Nov 2000. ©AGS2000.
Tree roots dangling over cliff were bared by erosion of cliff rock. Bicycle wheel gives scale. 4 Jan 2001. ©AGS2001 Every time surfers climb the hill, they cause a little dirt to go down hill, but that dirt will never go back up hill. 9 Jan 2001. ©AGS2001

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