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Landslides and Erosion

Cape Creek Landslide

Cape Creek Landslide

The Oregon coast changes daily, sometimes in ways that are very visible to residents and visitors. Constant wave action and persistent ocean currents shape the coastline; winter storms being the most dramatic agents. Summer patterns also shift the beach sand allowing the observant to see subtle changes of the season reflected in the shoreline. The sea cliffs and dunes provide ample evidence of the force of nature and the influence of people over time. The geology of the coast is variable, but often unstable, making it a challenging environment for permanent structures. To visualize this, consider the 1999 Cape Foulweather landslide on Highway 101 or the destruction of the Bayocean Spit in the 1930s and 1940s.

Understanding the dynamics of the Oregon coast helps us interact with this environment more effectively. The Department of Oregon Geology and Mineral Industries provides useful background information on the landslides on the coast.

For data about coastal hazards use the Hazards Reporter. From the "Maps" tab either enter an address or place name, or use the map to select the appropriate map layer.


Department of Oregon Geology and Mineral Industries. Our Changing Oregon Coast. Cascadia Winter 2005.

Good, James and Sandy Riddlington. Coastal Natural Hazards: Science, Engineering and Public Policy. Oregon Sea Grant. 1992.

Komar, Paul D. Ocean processes and hazards along the Oregon coast. Oregon Geology 54 (1): 3-19. 1992.

Wang, Yumei, Renee D. Summers and R. Jon Hofmeister. Landslide Loss Estimation Pilot Project in Oregon. Portland, OR: Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Open File Report 0-02-05. 2002.

Revised by Janet Webster, Head Librarian, Guin Library