Torrey Pines Bluffs Studies

The Project.

Leighton has performed various geotechnical evaluations of coastal bluffs in the Torrey Pines area, both in the Torrey Pines City Park and the surrounding Torrey Pines State Park. In the early 1980’s, an ancient landslide was reactivated in the bluffs above Black’s Beach. Leighton was part of the Mayor’s Task Force addressing the impacts and mitigation of the Black’s Beach landslide.


City of San Diego


San Diego, CA


  • Geotechnical

Project Fact:

For a geology lesson watch “A Walk Through Time” with Wolfgang Berger, Professor Emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Leighton Solution.

Leighton’s mapping along the bluffs to identify potential geotechnical hazards revealed a landslide area subject to “imminent failure.” Subsequently, Leighton performed a geotechnical investigation to evaluate the site conditions, and worked with the City to develop recommendations for the safe construction of a pedestrian trail on this precarious bluff.

Leighton evaluated the stability of the landslide and the potential effects of continued failure. Because of the park’s steep topography, it was not economically feasible to apply typical landslide stabilization methods.

In designing remedial measures, Leighton considered aspects of the master plan of the City of San Diego, and provided remediation recommendations, with public safety as the highest priority. Our recommendations included posting appropriate signage and fencing and removing debris and unstable blocks. Leighton’s scope also included evaluations and recommendations for siting access stairways from the coastal bluffs to the beach below.