ReefNews Geography:
Pacific Ocean Waves on Point Loma


Waves create amazing rock formations.

Waves and runoff create amazing rock formations along the Point Loma coastline. As the wind blows across the surface of the ocean, it creates waves. These waves may travel for thousands of miles before the crash against a shore. The energy of these waves is tremendous, and is capable of causing tremendous erosion.


Waves may rush through surf channels with tremendous speed and force. These surf channels are dangerous for waders and swimmers. Animals that live on the rocks where these waves crash must hold on with great force to resist the pounding waves. Notice that many shells, including limpets, are low and smooth to help them hold to the rocks while allowing the waves to wash over them easily. Tide pools are protected by rows of rocks that trap the water to create shelter where plants and animals can live.

Rainfall erosion on Point Loma

Erosion from rainfall is another important geological force on Point Loma. The soft dirt of this slope is being washed away by the spray from waves as well as rainfall.

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Cabrillo National Monument

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