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24 January 2023

A coastal cliff collapse at Blacks Beach, San Diego, California

On 20 January 2023 a large coastal cliff collapse at Blacks Beach, San Diego, California was captured on a truly amazing video.


16 January 2023

A remarkable number of landslides in California

Since the start of 2023, California has been hit by a succession of major rainstorms. To date at least 402 landslides have been triggered.


14 December 2022

Palos Verdes Estates: a coastal cliff landslide captured on video

On 9 December 2022 a landslide occurred on a cliff at Palos Verdes Estates in California. The failure was captured on video from a news helicopter.


5 February 2021

Planet Labs high resolution satellite image of the Rat Creek Washout

A Planet Labs high resolution satellite image of the Rat Creek Washout in the Big Sur, in California, showing the burnt areas in the catchment


1 February 2021

Rat Creek: a large washout generated by an atmospheric river in California

Rat Creek: a large post wildfire washout has been generated on State Highway 1 in the Big Sur in California


14 December 2020

The Eureka Valley Landslide in Death Valley National Park

The Eureka Valley Landslide in Death Valley National Park: a new paper (Shaller et al. 2020) on a beautifully-preserved, ancient, long runout failure.


11 August 2020

Landslides after wildfires

A new study (Rengers et al 2020) published open access in the journal Landslides examines failures in areas affected by recent wildfires in California.


16 June 2020

New landslide videos: Russia and California

Two new landslide videos: a large landslide in a mine in Russia & dashcam footage of a small but high impact rockfall in California


5 December 2019

The Blackhawk rock avalanche – insights from imagery

Regular correspondent funkenbeachin has used ESA Sentinel multispectral satellite data to facilitate analysis of the Blackhawk rock avalanche


15 November 2019

The Blackhawk landslide

The fascinating 9 km long, 300 million cubic metre, highly complex, ancient Blackhawk landslide in the Lucerne valley of California.


20 September 2019

This is an ex-eruption!

Recently, as chronicled in Scientific American, I was involved with amending the eruptive record at California’s Mount Shasta to remove an eruption that was supposedly seen by a French mapping expedition in 1786. USGS researchers had already been puzzling over it for years – evidence was slim, since the area was already prone to forest fires and there was nothing in the geologic record to suggest that it happened. William …


5 August 2019

Grandview Surf Beach: a fatal rock topple in California

On 2nd August 2019 a rock topple on Grandview Surf Beach near San Diego in California killed three women from a single family


24 June 2019

Atmospheric rivers getting warmer along U.S. West Coast

Most of the West Coast of the United States relies on a healthy winter snowpack to provide water through the dry summer months. But when precipitation falls as rain rather than snow, it can diminish summer water supplies, as well as trigger floods and landslides. A new study in AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres finds atmospheric rivers –plumes of moisture that deliver much of the west’s precipitation—have gotten warmer over the past 36 years.


4 March 2019

California is volcano country

One of the big projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of years has been assisting my SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) at the California Volcano Observatory in writing a report about California’s exposure to volcanic hazards. And (not) coincidentally, that’s the title of a new report that the USGS just released last week!


15 February 2019

Sausalito: a mudslide damages houses in California

Heavy rain in California, brought by an atmospheric river event, triggered a significant mudslide in Sausalito yesterday, causing damage to several houses


1 February 2019

Climate change may push Santa Ana fire season into winter months

Climate models predict a narrowing of the Santa Ana season in tandem with the wet season in Southern California over the next century, which could leave vegetation dry and fire-prone as winds peak in December and January, according to a new study.


28 December 2018

Chaos Jumbles: a fine example of a large volcanic landslide

Chaos Jumbles: a fine example of a large volcanic landslide in California, caused by three successive dome collapse events


5 December 2018

Malibu: Planet Labs images of the first round of mudflows

Malibu – Planet Labs have captured remarkable before and after SkySat images of the first round of mudflows following the recent wildfires


19 November 2018

Oil extraction likely triggered mid-century earthquakes in Los Angeles

Six independent earthquakes and two aftershocks of magnitude 4.4 to 5.1 shook LA between 1935 and 1944, a rate of about one every two years. A new study re-examined historical information about the earthquakes from archived damage reports to refine the earthquake locations identified by early earth-motion sensors, placing them closer to many active oil fields.


10 October 2018

Smoke from wildfires has cooling effect on water temperatures

Smoke generated by wildfires can cool river and stream water temperatures by reducing solar radiation and cooling air temperatures, according to a new study in California’s Klamath River Basin. A new study published in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, suggests smoke-induced cooling has the potential to benefit aquatic species that require cool water to survive because high summer water temperatures are a major factor contributing to population declines, and wildfires are more likely to occur during the warmest and driest time of year.