Abstract

As a result of the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta (Santa Cruz Mountains, California) earthquake, liquefaction of the fluvial, estuarine, eolian, and beach sediments under a sand spit destroyed the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and damaged other structures and utilities. Initial studies suggested that the liquefaction was a local phenomenon. More detailed offshore investigations, however, indicate that it occurred over a large area (max. 8 km2) during or shortly after the earthquake with movement of unconsolidated sediment toward and into the head of Monterey submarine canyon. This conclusion is supported by side-scan sonographs, high-resolution seismic-reflection and bathymetric profiles, onshore and sea-floor photographs, and underwater video tapes. Many distinct lobate features were identified on the shallow shelf. These features almost certainly were the result of the October 17 earthquake; they were subsequently destroyed by winter storms. In addition, fresh slump scars and recently dislodged mud debris were found on the upper, southern wall of Monterey submarine canyon.

You do not currently have access to this article.