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Sunset Cliffs crackup no laughing matter

Rains’ effects present serious situation at natural park

Down the hill from Point Loma Nazarene University
Down the hill from Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego's coastal bluffs are showing the effects of El Niño rains. National Weather Service data shows season to date rain totals for Lindbergh Field at 5.87 inches, or 141 percent of normal.

The crack in the bluff is more than 50 feet long.

Because of the long drought conditions our area has experienced, the coastal bluffs have had years to dry out and settle. Now, with the large amount of rain we've had, the earth has absorbed the water and is expanding, causing bluff collapse to accelerate everywhere throughout the county.

Surfers walk close to the cliff as they make their way south.

Photos taken last week illustrate the process and the danger to people that visit the areas. They were taken at the southwestern boundary of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The crack in the bluff is more than 50 feet long and is above a beach frequented by surfers, Point Loma Nazarene University students, and park visitors.

Surfers informed city lifeguards of the crack on January 17, and they went down to inspect the area. At least two other bluff collapses have occurred south of this area in the past month, and a very large collapse was reported by mariners on the east side of Point Loma below the Cabrillo monument.

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Down the hill from Point Loma Nazarene University
Down the hill from Point Loma Nazarene University

San Diego's coastal bluffs are showing the effects of El Niño rains. National Weather Service data shows season to date rain totals for Lindbergh Field at 5.87 inches, or 141 percent of normal.

The crack in the bluff is more than 50 feet long.

Because of the long drought conditions our area has experienced, the coastal bluffs have had years to dry out and settle. Now, with the large amount of rain we've had, the earth has absorbed the water and is expanding, causing bluff collapse to accelerate everywhere throughout the county.

Surfers walk close to the cliff as they make their way south.

Photos taken last week illustrate the process and the danger to people that visit the areas. They were taken at the southwestern boundary of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The crack in the bluff is more than 50 feet long and is above a beach frequented by surfers, Point Loma Nazarene University students, and park visitors.

Surfers informed city lifeguards of the crack on January 17, and they went down to inspect the area. At least two other bluff collapses have occurred south of this area in the past month, and a very large collapse was reported by mariners on the east side of Point Loma below the Cabrillo monument.

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Comments
6

Remove the gunnite, concrete, and sea wall at Children's Pool too. Let the food pumps crap in a natural environment.

Jan. 18, 2016

Ah coastal bluffs! Nothing so temporary! When gravity has nothing else to do, it joins up with its partner in crime - water, to show humans that there's no place to go but down. It's a perfect example of the rock cycle and the water cycle working together to demonstrate geomorphology. Be careful when you're on your towel at the base of them thar' cliffs, whether at Sunset Cliffs or especially Blacks. Nothing funner than getting killed by a mass movement - i.e. landslide, and getting buried at the same time. Who needs a fancy burial on a grassy memorial park?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geomorphology

Jan. 18, 2016

Wait... So it's caused by a drought AND too much rain? Yes that is quite laughable.

Jan. 18, 2016

Amazing!

Jan. 19, 2016

"...Because of the long drought conditions, our area has experienced the coastal bluffs have had years to dry out AND SETTLE. Now, with the large amount of rain we've had, the earth has absorbed the water and IS EXPANDING, causing bluff collapse to accelerate everywhere throughout the county"........Quite simply, it sounds like the excessive rain is fluffing up and softening the once compacted earth.....what's so funny about that?

Jan. 22, 2016

Gee who knew that the natural forces of nature would cause a bluff made mostly of loose rock and dirt to erode at the ocean's edge and collapse. Who could have ever predicted that.

Jan. 19, 2016

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