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Malibu Disasters & Hazards: Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, Slides
Malibu's geophysical setting is dramatic and unusual, a narrow strip of beach at the waterline of mountains that rise abruptly from the sea. Steep slopes in Malibu's canyons are a product of the rapid rise of the Santa Monica Mountains, geography that was created by the same forces that generate the California earthquakes. Opposing the rise of the land are strong storms rushing in off the Pacific Ocean with torrential rains and high winds, filling the stream beds with churning waters and rock that cut the canyons ever deeper, working with the sea to add sand to Malibu's beaches. The powerful physical beauty of the Malibu coastline is based on these supremely powerful and dangerous forces that lurk within the earth's crust beneath Malibu and in the atmosphere surrounding California.
Added to the creeping hazard of earthquakes, the steep canyons of Malibu are subject to landslides, especially after seasonal heavy rains bring flooding and destabilize the slopes. A further complication is natural fires that sweep through from the mountains to the seacoast, propelled by hot winds that originate with high pressure over the far away interior deserts and gain velocity and temperature as they race downhill to the sea. The fires are destructive in themselves but they also strip the canyons of vegetation increasing their vulnerability to runoff and slides.
This section of MalibuComplete.com reveals these natural hazards, their origin and scope. Be sure to also read the Malibu Geography section for more information on the physical setting of Malibu.
These pages provide the details:
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