Sitting on the Edge

At Gleason’s Beach just North of Bodega Bay, several  houses have already slid into the ocean and others have been red-tagged. The home owners have made numerous expensive attempts to armor the bluff and hold back the erosion but have failed to prevent further property loss.

Concrete wall with rebar in front of Gleason Beach houses

These houses teetering on the edge of an
eroding cliff on the Pacific Ocean at Gleason’s Beach, are  built
on soil that has been pulverized by the the Pacific plate as it pushes its way under the continental plate. This grinding process makes the
individual grains of soil so fine
that they absorb water and turn
into something known as

"melange" (French for "mixture") which is very weak and not suitable for a foundation for a house.

A Gleason Beach house that won’t be around long


The next door neighbor is also in trouble. This house
has been  red tagged.  Also note the large crack in the
ground in the foreground. 

Gleason Beach is located at Latitude 38.38972 and Longitude -123.08444, if you would like to find it on the Terraserver.

One Response to “Sitting on the Edge”

  1. Emily L. Ferguson Says:

    You can see another perspective on this at

    It’s a continuous link, so combine it before you click or just go to 200504678 when you get to the site. You can see comparison photographs there covering more than 20 years as well

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