Sea Cliff Hazard Potential along the Santa Barbara CA Coastline
Coastal areas are often characterized by high population densities and extreme geologic formations. Over 80% of the world’s coastal regions are dominated by steeply sloping surfaces (sea cliffs) (Emory and Kuhn 1982) that are subjected to various erosional and geological processes. Due to the ever changing nature of these areas, a deeper understanding of how these surfaces have changed in the past may enable populations to anticipate future behavior and discover more effective ways to mitigate future coastal hazards. Using basic field mapping techniques in conjunction with statistical tools (Matlab, R, ArcMap), landslides and other features along the ~9 mile stretch of sea cliffs/beach between Santa Barbara Point and Isla Vista have been mapped, inventoried, and analyzed. Analysis will focus on further understanding the relationship between bedrock lithology and landslide frequency/ volume. Other factors are also considered including (but not limited to) human activity impacting landslide frequency. The future impact of sea level rise on sea-cliff interfaces will also be considered, using current estimated cliff retreat rates (Hapke et al 2009) and marine terrace uplift rates (Gurrola et al 2013). The resulting inventory, report, and maps will be of use to the Santa Barbara community as well as to the University of California – Santa Barbara, for future planning and hazard mitigation considerations.