The coastal infrastructure of the southern greater Los Angeles metropolitan area would be profoundly affected by a large tsunami. Submarine slope failures and active faults, either of which could have generated a tsunami, are known on the shelf and slope near Long Beach. Large slope failures are present on the San Pedro Escarpment and on the basin slope adjacent to the San Pedro shelf. The southeastern part of the escarpment has had a long history of slope failure. The most recent failure, the Palos Verdes slide, is over 4.5 km long, has been dated as 7500 years old, and involved over 0.34 km 3 of material, which now litters the adjacent basin floor. Other, smaller, deposits from nearby failures are also present, as are buried wedges of debris that indicate slope failures have occurred locally throughout the Holocene and much of the late Pleistocene. Slope failures have occurred in response to continual Quaternary uplift of the Palos Verdes anticlinorium. The Palos Verdes slide could potentially have generated a failure-related tsunami with an amplitude in the range of 8-12 m because it apparently failed catastrophically, started in shallow water, evolved on low-drag bedding planes, had a long slide path, and involved high-strength lithified material. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Submarine landslides of San Pedro Escarpment, southwest of Long Beach, California