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Find Your Science at GSA
7 May 2009
GSA Release No. 09-26
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
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New GSA Volume Takes Bite out of Southern California Geoscience

Boulder, CO, USA - The Southern California Continental Borderland and the associated Western Transverse Ranges make up one of the most distinctive environments on the North American west coast. During the past 20 years, the U.S. Geological Survey, along with many scientific partners, has conducted extensive research on geologic and oceanographic processes in the urban ocean off Southern California, with the goal of exploring the impact that natural processes of the Borderland have on human population, and vice versa.

This seismically active region is one of unique tectonic evolution, and includes the Southern California Bight -- a "bight"-shaped portion of the California-Baja California coast. The ocean water here is warmer, and wave activity is less severe because of offshore islands and high coastal hills. The favorable weather, adequate space, gentle wave climate, and many sandy beaches beckon humans desiring the good life. This natural environment has led to the development of a megalopolis with a population exceeding 20 million persons.

Accordingly, because of the complex, varied geology and oceanography combined with the impact of environmental factors on the huge population, the Southern California Continental Borderland and associated Southern California Bight have drawn the attention of earth scientists for many years.

Volume editor Homa Lee of the U.S. Geological Survey says that this volume's six sections summarize much of the recent efforts to understand fundamental natural processes. Section 1 deals with surficial seafloor mapping and characterization. Sections 2 and 3 deal with fundamental geologic and oceanographic processes that introduce, transport, and deposit sediment particles and contaminants in the Southern California Bight. The remaining three sections investigate the impacts the geologic and oceanographic environments have on the human inhabitants in Southern California and the related impacts these inhabitants have on the environment.

This GSA Special Paper is dedicated to editor William R. Normark (1943-2008), who passed away while the book was in production.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

Earth Science in the Urban Ocean: The Southern California Continental Borderland
Homa J. Lee and William R. Normark (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 454
2009, 481 pages, US70.00, GSA member price US$49.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2454-6