Stabilizing the Cliffs of Alcatraz Island: It My Be "The Rock," but it Still Needs Attention!

by Mark K. Seel, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice President; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc., Parsippany, NJ,,
, P.G.

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2017, Vol. 21, Issue 5, Pg. 40-44,46-46

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: California's Alcatraz Island was described by some early explorers as an unusually lush rock sticking out of the sea. The rock on the island consists of shale and sandstone members of the late Mesozoic-aged Franciscan Complex. In 1853, the owner (the U.S. government), began constructing a lighthouse; it then fortified the island with the intent of protecting the port of San Francisco. The fortified island housed a garrison of soldiers and also functioned as a military prison until the early 1900s. As we well know, the island became home to a federal penitentiary in 1934. The prison operated until 1963 and housed some of America's most notorious inmates, including gangster Al Capone.

Subject Headings: Cliffs | Islands | Rocks | Seas and oceans | Shale | Sandstone | Owners | Ports and harbors | California | United States


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