Santa Barbara Coastal LTER

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.

Marbled Godwits

Migrating shorebirds foraging and roosting

View From Space

Domain of the Santa Barbara Coastal LTER

Sampling Lobster Poulations

Fishing gear as a sampling methodology

Kelp On The Beach

Winter swells tear up the kelp forest canopy

Watershed Runoff

Runoff after a major wildfire in 2004.

Competing For Space

Sessile suspension feeding invertebrates

Frond Turnover

recording the survivorship of marked fronds

Wave Disturbance

Giant kelp forests

© Copyright 2015 LTER. MSC03 2020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA 87131.