Terraces, California Coast

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

This stretch of the California coast south of Monterey looks like a flight of stairs. The crust in this region is still being uplifted. Between episodes of uplift, the waves wear away the rocks creating a cliff and a flat terrace offshore. Uplift raises the rocks and the process begins all over again. Notice that each higher step is more rounded than those below it, because it has been subject to erosion longer.

Original Scene

Possible Coloring

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Created 25 November 2005, Last Update 15 January 2020