Golden Gate Photo - Big Sur/Central California Coast Gallery
Fine Art Photography from Big Sur/Central California Coast.


The rugged coastline from Monterey on the north to Morro Bay on the south includes some of California's most scenic and dramatic landscape. This is where the Santa Lucia Range meets the Pacific Ocean. The Santa Lucia Range is comprised largely of plutonic rocks (including granodiorite, tonalite, and quartz monzonite) of Late Cretaceous age which have been rafted northwestward from its original position by movement along the San Andreas Fault over the last 21 million years. The San Andreas and other active faults within this tectonic block (Salinian Block) have uplifted portions of this region, exposing Tertiary-age deposits that were originally deposited in submarine canyons. The Big Sur/Central California Coast is a main portion of the Coast Ranges Geomorphic Province, one of the stops on the Geomorphic Provinces Geotour.


Big Sur Sunset

Big Sur Sunset

Looking northwest from a few miles south of the town of Lucia. This image captures the rugged coast and its descending benches below the higher peaks of the Santa Lucia Range

Print No. A00-48-5

More Images of Sunsets

Sea Stack Erosion

Sea Stack Erosion

This is from the same part of the Big Sur coast as above, looking southwest. Sea stacks form as the surf gradually wears down less resistant areas of bedrock. Once a sea stack begins to form, waves will tend to diffract around them, directing more energy to their backside. This helps propagate the formation of isolated knobs, and sometimes, sea arches.

Print No. A00-48-9

Monterey from Point Lobos

Monterey from Point Lobos

This view is looking north across Pinnacle Cove at the Monterey Peninsula in the distance. The same morning of pounding waves in the image above are seen here with a rainbow segment in the resulting mist.

Print No. A00-45-7

High Surf at Point Lobos

High Surf at Point Lobos

Taken the morning after the sunset image above, and in nearly the same location, the calm surf of the previous day was replaced with these 16- to 26-foot (5- to 8-meter) breakers. The high surf was generated by storms hundreds of miles to the west in the Pacific Ocean. The wave spray in this image is about 50 feet (16 meters) tall.

Print No. A00-46-3

Big Breaker

Big Breaker

This is one of those 16- to 26-foot (5- to 8-meter) breakers noted above. This is a view south from the vicinity of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Print No. A00-47-8

Pfeiffer Falls

Pfeiffer Falls

Pfeiffer Falls is located in Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park about half a mile up the Pfeiffer Falls Trail. This is where Pfeiffer Redwood Creek flows over a steep cliff of Santa Lucia Range granitic rocks.

Print No. A00-46-11

Morro Rock

Morro Rock

Morro Rock, located in the harbor of Morro Bay, is the eroded remnant of a 22 million year old plug dome volcano. It currently stands at an elevation of 581 feet (177 meters) above sea level. Morro Rock is one of a chain of volcanic intrusions that extend both onshore and offshore.

Print No. A00-49-8

Point Lobos Sunset

Point Lobos Sunset

This west view across Devil's Cauldron shows sun rays beaming down behind the Sea Lion Rocks with the sandstone and conglomerate of the Carmelo Formation in the foreground. The Carmelo Formation is approximately 60 million years old (Paleocene-age). Most of the cobbles, which were deposited in a submarine canyon, are composed of volcanic rocks. The Carmelo Formation directly overlies Santa Lucia Granodiorite.

Print No. A00-44-11

More Images of Sun Rays

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