The Palos Verdes debris avalanche is the largest, by volume, late Quaternary mass-wasted deposit recognized from the inner California Borderland basins. Early workers speculated that the sediment failure giving rise to the deposit is young, taking place well after sea level reached its present position. A newly acquired, closely-spaced grid of high-resolution, deep-tow boomer profiles of the debris avalanche shows that the Palos Verdes debris avalanche fills a turbidite leveed channel that extends seaward from San Pedro Sea Valley, with the bulk of the avalanche deposit appearing to result from a single failure on the adjacent slope. Radiocarbon dates from piston-cored sediment samples acquired near the distal edge of the avalanche deposit indicate that the main failure took place about 7500 yr BP. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.