Gigantic Big Sur Landslide ‘Could Have Filled 800 Olympic-Sized Swimming Pools:' USGS

The Big Sur landslide that closed off a portion of California’s coast was so big it “could have filled 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools, buried Highway 1 more than 65 feet deep, and created about 13 acres of new land,” USGS scientists said Thursday.

The landslide could keep Highway 1 closed for a year.

USGS scientists are analyzing before and after air photos of the May 20 slide, which altered the iconic Big Sur coastline, burying the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt. The coastline now looks like a “rounded skirt hem.”

The images and analysis are helping Caltrans and the California Department of Transportation monitor the situation.[[423919524, C]]

USGS will continue monitoring the slide area via airplane and drone flights. In an animation video released by USGS, the last slide shows the new elevation of the land, the red areas indicate areas that are now lower than before the slide, and the blues and purple areas are higher than before the slide.

Based on new aerial photographs, the slide has added 13 acres to the coastline, creating a bulge of land the size of 10 football fields, the East Bay Times reported.

Following a series of winter storms, more than 1 million tons of rock and earth slipped down a saturated slope in the Mud Creek area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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