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El Niño goes artistic on Sunset Cliffs

Big swells sculpt new island from sandstone

New landform off Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
New landform off Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The northern parking lot on the boulevard in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has a beautiful new sea stack.

"Before" photo (close-up)

The sandstone pillar was formed overnight on February 24th. The night's high tide was 4.42 feet at 10:16 p.m. The Point Loma buoy recorded swells of 8.2 feet at 16.7 second intervals at the same time. Six hours earlier, the swells were only 3.3 feet, and 16.7-second periods indicate a powerful ground swell. These factors combined with a weakened bluff face to create the new pillar.

About a month ago, around January 23–25 San Diego city street crews had fenced off the same parking lot because of the appearance of cracks in the paved surface and also in the cliff face.

On February 24th, city crews were seen observing the area and public access was restricted. The wave action at the base of the bluffs had already scoured away 60 to 75 percent of the collapsed material from the beach as of 10 a.m. this morning.

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New landform off Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
New landform off Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

The northern parking lot on the boulevard in Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has a beautiful new sea stack.

"Before" photo (close-up)

The sandstone pillar was formed overnight on February 24th. The night's high tide was 4.42 feet at 10:16 p.m. The Point Loma buoy recorded swells of 8.2 feet at 16.7 second intervals at the same time. Six hours earlier, the swells were only 3.3 feet, and 16.7-second periods indicate a powerful ground swell. These factors combined with a weakened bluff face to create the new pillar.

About a month ago, around January 23–25 San Diego city street crews had fenced off the same parking lot because of the appearance of cracks in the paved surface and also in the cliff face.

On February 24th, city crews were seen observing the area and public access was restricted. The wave action at the base of the bluffs had already scoured away 60 to 75 percent of the collapsed material from the beach as of 10 a.m. this morning.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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