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Sea Cliffs and Fronting Wave Cut Platform. Originate in settings where there is a relative sea level fall - where land surface is rising at a faster rate than sea level is rising. West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA. Sea Cliff Retreat – Processes and Timing. Abrasion of a Basal Notch

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Sea Cliffs and Fronting Wave Cut Platform

Originate in settings where there is a relative sea level fall - where land surface is rising at a faster rate than sea level is rising.

West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA

sea cliff retreat processes and timing
Sea Cliff Retreat – Processes and Timing
  • Abrasion of a Basal Notch
  • Thresholded Failure
  • Comminution Lag - Protective Feedback

Figure from Hapke and Richmond, 2002, Marine Geology

Retreat History

Episodic Sea Cliff Failure

sea cliff erosion feedbacks
Sea Cliff Erosion – feedbacks*

grain entrainment - abrasion - positive feedback

beach development - wave energy dissipation - negative feedback

correlation of wave runup and sea cliff retreat
Correlation of Wave Runup and Sea Cliff Retreat

after: Ruggiero et al., 2001

What about influence of lithology?

tectonically active margin santa cruz mountains and sf peninsula

Tectonically Active Margin:Santa Cruz Mountains and SF Peninsula

Image courtesy of USGS / PG&E Cooperative Research

monterey canyon tectonic offset

Monterey Canyon - tectonic offset

Figure from Greene et al., 1991

erosional geomorphic features marine terraces
Erosional Geomorphic Features - Marine Terraces

Note sharp edges of the modern (actively forming) sea cliffs and diffuse, scraps of terrace treads high in the landscape

Highway 1 near Santa Cruz, California

marine terrace generation and degradation
Marine Terrace Generation and Degradation*

Animation by Robert S. Anderson:

http://geomorph.geology.ufl.edu/~adamsp/Outgoing/Animations/bobs_terrace_movie.mov

isostatic uplift and landform preservation

Isostatic Uplift and Landform Preservation

Holocene Beach Ridges - Sweden -

isostatic uplift from deglaciation since late Pleistocene = 2mm/yr

karstostasy idealized
Karstostasy - Idealized

Animation by Peter N. Adams:

http://geomorph.geology.ufl.edu/~adamsp/Outgoing/Animations/FlaEpeir_Run109.mov

karstostasy application to florida through the pleistocene
Karstostasy – Application to Florida Through the Pleistocene

Animation by Peter N. Adams:

http://geomorph.geology.ufl.edu/~adamsp/Outgoing/Animations/FlaEpeir_Run125.mov