Santa Barbara Coastal LTER - United States of America
Santa Barbara Coastal LTER
United States of America
carbon and nutrient cycling
net primary production
population and community ecology
The Santa Barbara Coastal LTER is located in the coastal zone of southern California near Santa Barbara. It is bounded by the steep east-west trending Santa Ynez Mountains and coastal plain to the north and the unique Northern Channel Islands archipelago to the south. Point Conception, where the coast of California returns to a north to south orientation, lies at the western boundary, and the Santa Clara River marks its eastern edge.The site lies on the active boundary of the Pacific Oceanic Plate and the North American Continental Plate. High levels of tectonic activity have created dramatic elevation gradients in both the terrestrial and the underwater landscapes of the site. The Santa Barbara Channel includes some of the deepest ocean basins known on the continental shelf along with remarkable submarine canyons and escarpments.
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
The primary research objective of the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER is to investigate the relative importance of land and ocean processes in structuring giant kelp forest ecosystems.
The Santa Barbara Coastal LTER was established in April 2000. The kelp forests, coastal ocean and watersheds of this area have been studied independently for many years.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information